Nigeria’s birth registration is dismal, with only nine of its 36 states, including the federal capital territory, recording up to 50 per cent of their births, a 2016 infographics by AFRI-DEV info has shown.
Of all 36 states, Zamfara has the lowest rate, with only 3 per cent birth registration rate. Yobe follows closely with 8.2 percent birth registration and Kebbi with 9.6 percent.
The states with 50 percent birth registration include Lagos with 62%, Ekiti (50.5%), Imo (63.2%), Abia (58.8%), Anambra (61.2%), Kwara (58.5%), Edo (50%), Abuja (64.2%), and Osun (65.6%).
According to the UNICEF, “accurately counting births and deaths is the first step towards making sure that every child’s rights are recognised and respected.”
Yet, UNICEF says more than 100 developing countries do not have the civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems “needed to generate accurate birth and death data”.
In fact, Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries account for 39 per cent of the 230 million children who are not registered at birth.
The only region that tops this is south Asia, accounting for 44 per cent of all unregistered children.
Without reliable data of number of children, actual child mortality rates and cause-specific statistics are underestimated causing a short fall in intervention plans and limiting children’s access to specialised care.
According to the UNICEF, “around the world, 230 million children currently under age 5 were not registered at birth. That figure includes 39 per cent of children in sub-Saharan Africa and 44 per cent of children in South Asia”.