Nigeria records 57% increase in birth registration, as Lagos, FCT top, Jigawa, Sokoto lowest

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WorldStage Newsonline– The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), a household survey developed by UNICEF to assist countries in filling data gaps for monitoring human development indicators has revealed that birth registration in Nigeria increased by 57% in 2021, up from 47% in 2016

Speaking at a media dialogue on MICS 6 in Port Harcourt, organised by the Child Rights Information Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with UNICEF on Tuesday, Chief of Monitoring for Result, UNICEF, Claes Johanson explained that 2021 MICS indicated that over 40% of children unregistered in the country during the period.

Birth registration is the process of recording a child’s birth. It is a permanent and official record of a child’s existence, and provides legal recognition of that child’s identity.

Johanson said despite the 10% increase in number of birth registration between 2016-2021, there was still an existing gap to be filled.

He however said the improvement was on track to reach 80% in the next 10 years until SDG 2030.

“But if we have some acceleration that seems to be within reach, and that is one of UNICEF main priority to support National Population commission and the government to reach universal birth registration,” he said.

The survey showed that Lagos State recorded the highest number of birth registration with 94 per cent, closely followed by the FCT with 87 per cent.

States with lowest registration were Jigawa with 23.6 per cent and Sokoto with 22.5 per cent.

The survey showed that three per cent of children under the age of five had their births registered, but no birth certificates. It also indicated that two out of every three mothers and caregivers of children aged below five years whose births were not registered did not know how to register births.

It showed that percentage of children under age five whose births were registered ranged from as high as 89 per cent for the richest wealth quintile to as low as 33 per cent for the poorest wealth quintile.

Communication Specialist, UNICEF Geoffrey Njoku spoke on how UNICEF was working with national media across the country to take a deeper look into the data  on what can be extracted from it and what to be focused on.

He said, “How can we make the data come alive in terms of being used for policies by government and international partners?

 “How can we begin to act the data that was released? How can they begin to say there are gaps here and we need to fill those gaps? Where we not doing well, how can we do better, what is responsible for that?”

About MICS Survey

The MICS Survey is a household survey developed by UNICEF to assist countries in filling data gaps for monitoring human development indicators in general and the situation of children and women, in particular. It has evolved over the years to respond to changing data needs, expanding from 28 indicators in the first round in 1999 to 200 in its current sixth.

The National Bureau of Statistics(NBS) implemented MICS which provides data on child mortality, health, nutrition, education, child and social protection, women’s healthcare and empowerment, water, sanitation and hygiene.

The MICS was launched on August 16, 2022 alongside the National Immunisation Coverage Survey (NICS) by Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.