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NPC Begins Automation Of Birth Registration Centres In 774 LGAs

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As part of measures put in place to upscale birth registration in the country, the National Population Commission (NPC) said it has commenced the digitization of all the registration centres in the 774 LGA headquarters.
The Chairman of the commission, Hon. Nasir Kwarra, stated disclosed this at a press briefing to mark the 2021 Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Day in Abuja, yesterday.
He said the commission was worried about the low rate of birth registration in the country due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic that has weakened the structures of the civil registration system in many African countries.
He explained that the ongoing automation process, which is already being piloted in the FCT, Abuja is in line with the Vision of African Union leaders and SDG goals.
Kwarra said the commission currently has 4,011 registration centres spread across the 774 LGAs of the country but is working with the development partners to increase it to 8,000 required to achieve optimal result.
Besides this, he said the commission was also collaborating with most health centres and local governments, whose personnel assist their registrars in collecting information on death and births in their facilities.
According to him, “currently, about 43% of under-5 children are registered at birth and not more than 10% of deaths are registered in Nigeria. What this translates into is that many are born and die without leaving a trace of their existence in any legal records in the country”.
This, he said,was attributable to a whole range of causative factors including: but not limited to geographic, cultural and traditional reasons.
He expressed optimism that the automation process, when fully automated nationwide will significantly enhance the operational efficiency of the vital registration system in Nigeria
The NPC boss said the celebration of CRVS Day was in pursuant to the recommendation of conference of Africa Ministers Responsible for Civil Registration held in Nouakchott, Mauritania in 2017 and endorsed by the Executive Council of the African Union the following year.
‘‘The purpose of the celebration was to increase public awareness on the importance of timely registration of vital events, particularly births and deaths, through well-functioning civil registration and vital systems.
‘‘The CRVS Day provides us with an opportunity for a reflection on the legal identity from birth to death of all persons and the realization of key human and civil rights, including the right to participate in society and economy and the right to access social services.
‘‘This can only be attained when the rights and civil liberties are found and strengthened by an efficient and effective civil registration and vital statistics systems that are inclusive, permanent, continuous, compulsory and confidential in nature.
“In doing so, conscious efforts should be made to ensure that the Civil Registration and Vital Registration System enjoys broad-based support that leverages the development in information technology, inter-operable and easily accessible to the generality of the people.
“Having carefully navigated through its initial teething challenges”, he said “the commission now at thick of an effective transformation from manual to wholly digitations and automation of the CVRS system in Nigeria in an effort to revitalize and upgrade the system in line with the vision of the Africa Programme on Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics”.
With the support of World Bank and UNICEF, Kwarra said the commission has developed a Five-Year Strategic Action Plan 92018-2022.
According to him, the objective of the plan is to enhance the framework for actions and guidance for national, states, LGAs and community initiatives aimed at ensuring that all vital events are registered.
He called for strong institutional framework, robust governance mechanism and effective coordination among a wide range of governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to accelerate progress towards universal civil registration and integrated identity management system.
He equally called on development partners not to relent in their collaborative efforts with the commission in the provision of technical and material support towards achieving the desired goal in civil registration and vital statistics system in Nigeria.
In his remarks, the Chief of Child Protection, UNICEF, Ibrahim Sesay, said the existence of accurate, regular and reliable statistics is imperative for evidence-based decision making in any country as well as in emergency response.
According to him, more than 50% of births of children under the age of five in Nigeria are still unregistered, which contributes 11% of unregistered births in West Africa.
He said the UNICEF has triggered a scalable process of assisting the NPC to strengthen and accelerate the birth registration service delivery at state and community levels with a focus of registering about 25million children between 2021 and 2025.
‘‘UNICEF is supporting the development of a Roadmap for digital birth registration to guide CRVS partners who are seeking opportunities to achieve greater impact, efficiency and efficacy in a digital universal birth registration system in Nigeria.
‘‘There is a clear agenda to optimize NPC work patterns and community level actions for cost-effective birth registration programming employed with the establishment of a network of registrars capacitated to register children using electronic devices at the state, local government, wards and community levels.
‘‘The birth registration is a child’s right to a name and an identity that should not be denied any child. With the setting aside of August 10 as the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics day, we are encouraged that civil and birth registration is getting the attention it deserves as a constituent part of the child’s right to development and protection,’’ Sesay said.
He assured that UNICEF would develop a comprehensive communications and awareness-raising strategy at the national and local levels to create and sustain a demand for birth registration services among parents at the LGA and communities.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Committee Chairman, Civil Registration and Vital Statistics at NPC, Dr Ismaila Suleiman, said the objective of the celebration was to inspire member states to accelerate the implementation of the civil registration and vital statistics in the continent in line with the global best practices.
Civil registration includes: registration of births, deaths, marriages, migration which help in providing statistical data needed f in planning the attainment of development goals with the potential to improve the well-being of the people.
Highlight of the event was a practical demonstration of digital registration of a new born baby with the mother.
This year’s celebration is themed, ‘‘Leadership for an essential service: Building resilient civil registration and vital statistics systems in Africa that provides innovative, integrated, and decentralized services for the post-Covid-19 period’’.
It is aimed at demonstrating the essential role civil registration and vital statistics system plays in facilitating the recognition of the legal identity for all persons as well as providing key data for planning, policy formulation, decision making and good governance.

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Inflation: Govs Meet Buhari Over Economic Woes, Insecurity, Today

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Worried by the economic woes in the country, the 36 governors would, today, meet at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, to discuss the way forward.
In a statement, yesterday, the Director, Media and Public Affairs of Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, declared that the state of the nation’s economy would dominate conversations during the meeting.
According to the statement, “several governors reasoned that it is high time to tell each other the bare truth by confronting each other on the situation and brainstorming on it.”
The statement noted that: “This formed the basis for resorting to an in-person meeting which since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has been relegated by the states’ executives.
“Two things will feature prominently in the conversation: the economy and security. This will be the first time in the year, contrary to media reports that governors had collectively advised the president on the weeding of fifty-year-olds from the federal civil service and other spurious suggestions meant to impose further hardship on the people, that governors will collectively meet to consider a total overhaul of the nation’s economy.
“The meeting which, according to the invitation issued by the Director-General of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Mr Asishana Bayo Okauru, will commence at 2pm. It begins with the launch of the Primary Health Care Leadership Challenge Fund, followed by the launch of the World Bank SFTAS charter before the real conversation on the state of the economy begins.
“There will also be such regular updates as the CARES programme and the chairman’s remarks. All governors are warmly welcome.”

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2023: Momodu Urges Atiku To Sign Peace Pact With Rivers Gov …Says Fear Of Wike, Beginning Of Wisdom In PDP

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A former presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dele Momodu, has suggested a solution to the rift between the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike.
Momodu suggested that a close-door dialogue between Atiku and Wike would resolve the rift between the two politicians.
There has been a rift between the pair after the PDP presidential primaries in Abuja.
Weighing in on the face-off, the veteran journalist said both politicians should possibly sign a pact and agree on deliverables.
Momodu said the fallout of the PDP post-national convention crisis has shown that Wike was a force to reckon with in the party ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
According to Momodu: “What I would advise Atiku Abubakar to do today is to sit down one-on-one without no other person present with Governor Wike and agree on deliverables, if possible, sign an agreement.
“The situation in PDP shows what Wike is in the equation of things in Nigeria. If you have a man who is your best governor across the board, across party lines, Wike stands out as a fantastic performer.
“Today, the fear of Wike is the beginning of wisdom in PDP, there is no question about that. Wike is smart, he knows the game he’s playing, and what he wants to do is to force a deal with the party. That’s my own reading of the situation.”

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Wike Labels Disgruntled Elders As Traitors …Says He’s A Fulfilled Leader …He Was Best Performing LG Chairman In Rivers -Odili

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has accused some elders of ganging up against him because they did not scale through the primary to be the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
The governor explained that some of them, on his 2021 birthday, who indicated interest to fly the ticket, but failed at their bid to clenching it are now in Abuja plotting against him.
Wike spoke, last Monday, during the 74th birthday reception organised to honour the former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, at the private residence built and donated to him by the state government in Old Government Residential Area, Port Harcourt.
The governor said those elders came to him in their own accord and showed a commitment that they would stay to see through what they came to convince him about.
“On my last birthday, 12midnight, some of our elders called me that they want to see me. They came to me and said they came to wish me happy birthday.
“Then, they presented me a letter that I should run for president. All of them including Dr. Abiye (Sekibo) signed the document.
“I say okay, you people too should go and give me someone who will be governor after me. They all sat there, looking left and right.
“I asked them, those of you who are interested to be governor should raise your hands. Everybody raised his hand. One person didn’t raise his hand, Senator Bari Mpigi. I asked why he was not interested, he replied, sir, let me hold what God has given me. I don’t want to lose the two.”
Wike noted that the elders also signed to a document that they would abide by whatever becomes the outcome of the governorship primary.
But governor expressed the regrets that since they were not successful, they have turned around now to allege that he was pursuing a third term bid.
“Some persons don’t know the history. They go and tell all kinds of story. But the truth is this; all of them (elders) signed the document prepared by O.C.J. Okocha that whoever I will bring, they will abide by it.
“But now, they went to Abuja that I must not be vice president. I also read, yesterday, when I was in Paris, one of them saying that I told him that if they do to me what they did to Dr. Peter Odili; that I will collapse the system.
“I am not an ungrateful person; and I will never be ungrateful in my life. What’s important is that I have done well as a governor. I am happy and I am leaving office a happy man.”
The Rivers State governor recalled that when Dr. Peter Odili was to run for the office of the president, he had a large crowd following, happily.
He noted that when the issue of governorship of Rivers State was to be decided and he did not give those who wanted it, they all left him, ran to Abuja to thwart his presidential ambition.
Wike, however, said he has been holding on to the advise of the former governor, hence he was not surprised at the turn of events and the outcome of the PDP presidential primary.
He described Dr. Peter Odili a true leader of men, who groomed many, and supported a lot of persons to political lamplight, particularly in Rivers State and across the country.
“There was a time every political class abandoned Odili. This is a man who gave us everything. Some people called him ‘Mr. Donatus’. There was no abuse he did not get. Everybody he tried to help their families, at the end of the day, all betrayed him.
“For us, we have used him as a school, and we thank him for making himself available for us to use him to learn so that we won’t be shocked of whatever that is going to happen.”
Wike expressed delight at the opportunity to have known Odili and being able to celebrate him.
He pointed to the several support and the gains from the political tutelage under Odili that had made him accomplish his political successes.
He reiterated that Odili’s benevolence made it possible for Ikwerre sons to emerge governors of Rivers State.
In his response, the former Governor of the state, Dr. Peter Odili said, himself and his wife, Hon. Justice Mary Odili (rtd) were overwhelmed by the birthday gift, courtesy of the state government.
Odili explained that during his tenure as governor, Wike was the best performing council chairman in the state.
He lauded Wike for investing in human capacity development, infrastructure and building the best law school campus in Port Harcourt.
In his goodwill message, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, harped on the need for all Nigerians to work together to enthrone fairness, justice and equity in all facet of society, which Odili has always stood for.
Also speaking, Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, noted that Odili was a great leader who had impacted on many lives across the country.
Similarly, former Cross River State Governor, Donald Duke, commended Odili for being a role model and comporting himself very well after leaving office.
In his homely at the thanksgiving mass, Monsignor Pius Kii, said Nigeria missed the opportunity of having Dr. Peter Odili as their president because he would have used his farsighted ability, courage and adaptive capacities to solve Nigeria’s many problems.
Similarly, the Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, felicitated with Dr. Peter Odili, as he celebrated his 74th Birthday, last Monday.
In her goodwill message in Government House, Port Harcourt, Banigo said as the father of the modern Rivers State, Odili has continued to be a great leadership icon, whose leadership style impacted positively on the lives of Rivers people and beyond during his tenure as the governor of Rivers State.
Banigo, who expressed gratitude to Odili for his support to the Wike-led administration, described him as a philanthropist per excellence, a great patriot and astute statesman.
The deputy governor while wising him many happy returns, prayed the Almighty God to continue to bless and keep Odili in good health.

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