By Chioma Obinna
The Borno State Director, National Population Commission, NPoPC, Mr. Bukar Gajiram has explained the rationale behind the State’s outstanding performance in birth registration despite the spate of insurgency in the area.
According to him, the success was as a result of several strategic partnerships and commitments ent ered into by the state state commission.
Today, Borno is leading states like Lagos, Kano among others with a current birth registration rate of 363,316, 172,878 boys and 190,438 girls respectively while Bayelsa emerged lowest with 14,876, 7,567 boys and 7,309 girls, which translated to an aggregate of 15 percent and 3 percent under one and five years registration.
“Statistics from the country’s RapidSMS Dashboard on Birth Registration (2015 – 2017) revealed that Kano State ranks 2nd with 338,948 registered persons, 172,925 boys, and 166,023 girls.“Lagos state followed with third with 231,584, 117,586 boys and 113,998 registered.
Other states like Oyo registered 173,137, 86,615 boys and 86,522 girls while “In an interview with Vanguard in Kano traced the success on series of massive birth registration exercise organised in some of the Local Government areas that have not experienced many insurgencies.
Gajiram who noted that Borno state was a peculiar state because of the insecurity issues said UNICEF highly contributed to the success. “We organised registration exercise in some of the largest local government outside Maiduguri metropolis.”
He disclosed that with UNICEF assistance, they recruited ad-hoc registrars and collaborated with some immunization officers to massively register the children.
He said with UNICEF rendering great assistance, they directed Deputy Registrars in the state to recruit more manpower with a target that all registrars should register 70 persons per day for a period of 10 days.
He explained that the ad-hoc staff engaged were paid N70.00 per certificate issued at the end of the exercise by UNICEF.
“We also carried out mop-up registration exercise at the Internally Displaced Persons camps, IDP, camps all over the state where we were also supported by a lot of international NGOs. We assigned our registrars not to only register at designated Centres but also register in private hospitals and IDP camps.“
“We also drafted primary school teachers trained by UNICEF to assist while during their enrollment exercise in schools. “
“Many school pupils who do not have birth certificates were registered. Normal registrations were also carried out by our permanent registrars in their registration Centre,“ he explained.
He said to maintain the success, they have made a proposal to the State government to assist with a budget of N22,000,000 so as to recruit new workers and give them stipends at the end of every month.
He said the Commission has planned to register at least 130,000 children this year and already a total of 77,000 have been registered currently.