By Chinenye Offor
Abuja – The National Population Commission (NPoPc) says birth registration is the first step in securing legal identity.
The Director, Public Affairs Department of the commission, Mr Mohammed Isah, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
Isah urged Nigerians to register and obtain a birth certificate, saying that there is no better identity than birth registration.
He stated that the only valid instrument attached to a child after names were given was birth registration and certificate.
Isah underscored the need for awareness as lot of Nigerians did not understand the benefits of birth and death registration, hence the campaign.
According to him, NPopC has been in partnership for over a decade with UNICEF and also collaborating with other sectors such as the Primary Health Care Development Agency and Ministry of Education to scale up the registration process.
He said that “We (NPopC) have less than 4,000 centres to help launch the campaign on birth registration and educate the public on the importance of it.
“The activities of the commission are limited due to lack of personnel and fund.’’
The director explained that birth registration helped in securing and accessing basic rights such as education, health and social protection.
He also noted that birth certificate provided the documentary evidence required for relevant occassions like school enrolment, graduation, voting as well as rights to be voted for, inheritance, obtaining an international passport and drivers licence.
Isah further emphasised that birth and death certificates also provide legal evidence to claim a property, insurance benefits of deceased persons as well as rights of serving spouses to remarry.
According to him, data gathered through civil registration and vital statistics will help create accurate assessments of economic growth and poverty levels of a society as well as means of measuring global targets.
The director said that Civic Registration and Vital statistics (CRVS) was therefore a high priority for supporting human rights, policy planning and good governance.