OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has called on the federal government to urgently commence registration of births and deaths of newborn babies in various health institutions in Nigeria.
It also urged the Federal, State, and Local Governments as well as traditional and religious leaders to join in the sensitisation of the public on the importance of these registrations.
These resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion raised by Bashiru Dawodu (APC, Lagos).
Leading a debate on the motion, Dawodu noted that the National Population Commission (NPC) has only managed to register the birth of 57 percent of children under the age of five, thus making it difficult for Government to plan adequately for their medical, nutritional and other needs.
He also noted that the Federal Government needs to know how many health centres are needed in the country and the population growth across the country to correctly estimate the medications to be imported and the tariffs.
The Lagos lawmaker raised concerns about how a country without credible statistics can progress as registration of birth is the most basic requirement in planning for children.
According to him, when a country fails to follow through with an established pattern, the young ones are exposed to dangers that the public health and economic planning teams cannot cope with.
“Cognisant of the fact of knowing the age distribution of a country’s population makes it easier to plan, knowing how many would be of school age in what year, providing adequate classrooms and school infrastructure,” he stated.
He expressed worries that, after 60 years of independence, Nigeria still does not have a reliable census figure for its children.
In contributing to the motion, Haruna Mshelia, (APC, Borno), said the motion is a good one, and he further explained that it should be put to record that all these things have been in place through the National population commission.
According to him, “If you go to any teaching hospital, general hospital, or functional Primary Health Care centers, you will find signs pointing to the office of the National Population Commission in those establishments, apart from some located in traditional leaders houses where these registrations can take place.
What is really lacking is the awareness as earlier pointed in the second resolution and I think it’s that one that will be emphasised. District and Village Committees should be sensitised religiously. It should be sensitised so that these registrations as encapsulated in the National Population Commission Act should take place, instead of punishment.
I will also strongly advise, that it should be a carrot thing that traditional leaders and community leaders that have seem to be happily doing it and showing data should be encouraged by either Local, State, or Federal Government,” he said.
The motion was unanimously adopted through a voice vote called by the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase following an amendment.
The House further urged the Federal Government to conduct a study on effective penalties for parents who fail to register the birth of their children.
To this end, the House mandated the Committee on Population and Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values to ensure compliance.