The National Population Commission, NPC, yesterday, clearly revealed that it will be going digital come January, 2020, in conducting the birth registration exercise.
The commission, which disclosed that this is a pilot project, assured putting a lot of effort into automating the registration process.
This message was conveyed by the Abuja Territorial Director, NPC, Suleiman Bello, and echoed by his colleague, the Head of Department, Vital Registration, NPC, Abuja, Nwagbo Ebele.
The NPC Heads were guests at the Public Conscience on Radio Program, produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, in Abuja.
While elaborating, Bello said: “Very soon, there would no longer be biro, paper and other materials for registration, a Hand-Held Device will be used in the process.
” As early as January, we are going to start the pilot project at least to one Centre, so that the data would go straight to the central server.”
Mentioning some of the challenges facing the commission, Bello said a major problem is ‘Awareness’, that the commission doesn’t have enough funds to embark on a massive campaign to educate Nigerians.
He said the commission also tried fixing issues surrounding working logistics as it recruited, in different wards and area councils, personnel resident in same localities to address transportation issues.
Meanwhile, on the account of extortion, the Territorial Director took drastic measures in ensuring that a registrar engaged in this corruption was recommended for dismissal.
He said, “This year, around July, a staff went too far, aside collecting money for registration, he was also forging signatures, printing letter-headed papers, and some collecting money to issue death certificate.”
Bello specified areas where the commission offer services to include issuance of certificates for Birth, Death, Divorce, and even Stillbirth.
On the Enumeration Area Demarcation, EAD exercise, Bello said the process started on December 5th and its ongoing, adding that it’s a necessary activity conducted before the National Census.
“The EAD is a division of the entire seven hundred and seventy-four (774) Local Governments of the Country into smaller units or area that can be counted by a pair of enumerators during the actual population census.”
In this process, he explained that people are not counted, that the NPC field functionaries take note of structures to account, through the sampling method to achieve a threshold and establish a frame for Head-Count.
He revealed that the counting has been completed in other five (5) area Councils remaining AMAC which is likely to end on 25th or 26th of Dec.
Contributing, the HoD, Ebele, addressed the challenges and complaints on NPC’s part and the Nigerian Parents.
Ebele noted that there’s an Act which states “If a child is over sixty (60) days after birth, and not registered, it might attract some fees,” adding that this penalty hasn’t been stabilized yet, and can’t be meted on defaulters.
Nevertheless, she said parents need not provide any form of document before registering their children, stating all that is needed is simple information of the child who should be 0 – 17 years, while 18 and above are to get birth attestation at N2500 from the commission after obtaining affidavit from the court.