Over 1m kids unregistered in Ondo
The National Population Commission (NPC) has disclosed that over 30million Nigerian children face the risk of losing their identity due to poor birth registration.

NPC director in Ondo State, Oluyemi Falusi, stated this yesterday in Akure during the unveiling of a media campaign to promote birth registration. Falusi lamented that a large number of children in Nigeria are not registered, thereby depriving them of their human rights, citizenships and other attendant benefits. He said: “A child who is not registered is not believed to exist in government parlance.

“Currently, only about eight per cent of under-five children are registered in Nigeria, only 44 per cent of Africa's births are registered, leaving an estimated 85 million under-five children unregistered.”Falusi explained that eight of the 10 countries with the lowest levels of birth registration are in Sub-Saharan Africa, with Nigeria having the largest population of unregistered children.

“A significant proportion of not less than a million of these is made up of children born in Ondo State,” he said.He projected that the number of children under-five years would within three years, increase from 32 million to 58 million by 2050.

According to him, the number of children under 18 in Nigeria is projected to increase from 93 million in 2015 to 191 million in 2050, an increase of about 98 million, or 105 per cent. He stressed that by 2050; one fifth of Africa's children under 18 would live in Nigeria.

Falusi said the media campaign programme, which is jointly sponsored by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and European Union (EU), has planned three months aggressive sensitisation across the state.

Wife of the state governor, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, who began the issuance of birth certificates to mothers, said the initiative was in line with the ‘Olori Connection’ set up by the state government to encourage birth registration at the grassroots.Stakeholders who attended the meeting include ministries of health, education, local government and chieftaincy affairs, budget, planning and statistics.Others are State Primary Health Care Agency, traditional rulers and the media, who agreed to create a synergy.

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