In fulfillment of the National Population Commission’s constitutional mandate of establishing and maintaining a machinery for continuous and universal registration of births and deaths in Nigeria, the Katsina State office registered a total of 2,757,833 births between 2017 and 2021.
Data from the RapidSMS, a tracking tool that collects and collates real time information on birth registration in Nigeria indicated that Katsina recorded 542, 368 births in 2017, 489,488 in 2018, 474,068 in 2019, 499,843 in 2020 and 752,066 in 2021.
These figures are substantially higher than the NBS report which indicated that the total number of registered births between 2017 – 2019 was 101,695 and the breakdown as follows; 24,878 in 2017, 28,780 in 2018 and 48,037 in 2019.
The birth registration figures credited to Katsina state by the NBS constitute a gross under estimation of the substantial progress made in registration of births in Katsina state which currently maintains 201 registration centers across the 34 Local Government Areas of the state where births and deaths are registered on daily basis and free of charge.
The boost in birth registration, according to Engineer Bala Banye, Federal Commissioner representing Katsina State was made possible by the tremendous support of the Katsina State Government working in collaboration with development partners and the traditional institution.
Under the Enumeration Area Demarcation for the 2022 Population and Housing Census, the State Government supported the Commission in the training and recruitment of adhoc registrars to mop up registration of under 5 Children in selected local government areas.
Through the support of the Kano Field office of the United Nations Children Fund, series of trainings have been organized for health workers and the traditional institution towards ensuring the streamlining of their birth registration activities into the database of the NPC.
Katsina State has a long history of civil registration dating back to the colonial period and carried out by the Secretary of the Ward Head popularly called ‘Bukadi’. The services of the ‘Bukadi’ are now being engaged to give the birth registration a big boost.
In order to boost birth registration in Katsina State, efforts are being made to register and issue birth certificates to vulnerable children in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the state.
In addition, the UNICEF Kano Field office is currently conducting a survey on knowledge, attitude and awareness of BR in Katsina State and have selected one LGA in each of the 3 senatorial districts viz; Rimi LGA-Katsina central zone, Katsina north zone- Daura LGA and in Katsina South Zone- Musawa LGA for the survey.
With the consistent cooperation of stakeholders and commitment of the NPC staff, Engineer Banye expressed the hope that Katsina will in the near future attain 100% coverage of birth registration as stipulated in the 2022-2026 Birth Registration work plan.
Isiaka Yahaya, Ph.D
Acting Director, Public Affairs
28th February, 2022