The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has urged media organisations to enlighten the public on the importance of child birth registration.
The UNICEF Public Advocacy and Communication Officer, Rabiu Musa, made the call at a two-day stakeholders’ preparatory meeting for Media Campaign on Child Registration.
He said that the call had become imperative because birth registration in Nigeria was below the national and global standards.
“There is low level of awareness on the child registration in the country.
That is why UNICEF is collaborating with the National Population Commission (NPopC) to change the situation.
We want the media to take the enlightenment to people at grassroots level in the country, so that every child will be registered at birth,’’he said.
According to Musa, birth registration is a right of every child, hence the need for parents to ensure that their children are registered.
He also urged other stakeholders, including traditional institutions, religious organisations, Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s), states and local governments, to continue to join hands to achieve the set goal.
The NPopC Director in the state, Lawal Ahmad, said that Katsina has a projected population of 1,651,766 children below the age of five years.
He said that media campaign would commence from September 20 to the middle of December 2018.
“The media houses will use their strategies to educate, mobilise and enlighten the public on the need for birth registration.
Registrars must be ready to receive registration of more children during this period,’’ he said.
The NPopC Head of Vital Registration, Yusuf Hussaini, said that about 150,433 children below five years have been registered in the state between January and June 2018.
According to him, about 71 per cent of the 523,325 children born annually in Katsina state are not being registered at birth.
He said these children have no certificate and in legal terms they do not exist; their right to identity, name and nationality is denied while their access to basic services is threatened.