The Federal Government has developed an electronic Civil Registration and Vital Statistics System (eCRVS) and a Geospatial Data Repository to boost birth, death, and other registrations, Nasir Kwarra, chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), has disclosed.
Kwarra made this known at a news conference in Abuja, adding that the effort was to scale up the automated registration process in Nigeria.
He explained that during the sixth session of the conference of African ministers responsible for civil registration and vital statistics (CVRS) held in 2022, African ministers made several resolutions and encouraged all countries in the continent to automate the CRVS process and ensure the implementation of the UN legal identity agenda.
He said “Member states were further encouraged to develop an electronic technology-driven system to boost data generation and civil statistics.
“As part of Nigeria’s way of complying with the resolutions of the African ministers and scaling up the automated process in Nigeria, the NPC, in collaboration with UNICEF developed the eCRVS operational readiness assessment report.
“This shows the potential of digital technology in providing transformative outcomes in CRVS and integrating data from multiple systems to securely store data at scale, in a cost-effective way in Nigeria.”
Kwarra said that the report provided a holistic approach to the future state vision for digitised CRVS, the rollout of decentralised digital birth registration system as part of CRVS, and identified areas to strengthen the automation of the system.
He added that recommendations that would significantly increase the likelihood of reaching a universal digitalised birth registration system in Nigeria had been made.
“The report ushered in the bold step taken by the commission for a transformative innovation of the CRVS system by developing a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement between the commission and Barnksforte Technologies Limited, an innovative indigenous ICT solution provider.
“The PPP arrangement is to promote the system as a completely electronic system that digitalises all civil registrations such as birth registration, stillbirth registration, birth attestation, adoption, marriage notification, divorce notification, migration and death.
“The system provides a digital certificate in all cases, an accessible verification platform to registered organisations, and has a central management system (dashboard) that depicts and analyses collated civil registrations into vital statistics for proper decision-making.”
The chairman said that the process marked a complete departure from traditional paper-based recording of vital events to a state-of-the-art digital solution that conforms to international best practices.
He added that the eCRVS system would revolutionise how vital events were recorded, tracked and analysed in the country.
“It should also be noted that NPC, in the course of preparation for the first digital Census in Nigeria, the census mapping using a ‘cutting edge’ technological methodology, the Geographic Information System (GIS) captured geospatial data
covering a multidimensional theme with total coverage of the country.”
According to him, the system was expected to strengthen civil registration data capturing, collation, processing, dissemination and timely access to statistics on vital events in the country.
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“It aims to accelerate the improved civil registration and vital statistics systems in Nigeria from 2023 to 2030.
“It is also set to overhaul the process of registration of births and deaths and launch Nigeria towards the attainment of the SDG Goal 16.9.2 – legal identity for all, including birth registration and laying a solid foundation for an efficient CRVS system.”
Ibrahim Cisse, chief of child protection, UNICEF, said only 32 percent of children in rural areas were registered compared to 60 per cent of those in urban areas.
He said that 20,000 children are born in Nigeria daily, amounting to about 6.57 to eight million children born yearly.
“How can we ensure that these children whose births occur mostly in rural areas get registered? He added: “We are working alongside the NPC and we are on a big birth registration drive in 24 states, including FCT with over 23,000 registers working and those registrations are free of cost.”