Nigeria to set up digital CRVS system with $11M private sector funding
Nigeria’s federal government recently approved plans to digitize birth and death registrations and the sum of 5.3 billion Naira (US$11.5 million) is to be provided by a private sector partner for the setting up of the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) system.
According to a press release issued by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, the body that oversees Public-Private Partnership engagements of the federal government, the funding for the project will be provided by Messrs Barnksforte Technologies Limited, an innovative development solutions company.
“The project which has the National Population Commission as Grantor seeks to capture and verify births and deaths in Nigeria, provide attestation and verification of certificates to end users on the platform,” reads a part of the news release.
“Prior to this, these registrations have been carried out manually, a process that has been characterized by low coverage and inadequate data. The private party will design, finance, build, operate, and transfer the project to the government at the end of the concession period of 15 years.”
Speaking days later during a meeting in Lagos State to discuss plans for the implementation of the digital CRVS project, the Director of Vital Registration at the National Population Commission (NPC) Mathew Sunday said the exercise will first target around 12.7 million children this year in a pilot that will involve 8.08 million of them in 22 of the country’s 36 states, reports Naija On Point.
The campaign will register 4.6 million other children in the rest of the 14 states and the federal capital territory.
Sunday used his speech during the meeting to underscore the importance of birth registration. He expressed hope that the digital system will certainly drive birth registration in Nigeria which currently stands at 33 percent for children of all ages.
He said the NPC plans to undertake a massive sensitization campaign and is calling on all stakeholders, including traditional, rulers to get on board.
In this vein, the Emir of Argungu, a dynasty in the State of Kebbi, Samaila Muhammed Mera, called for more involvement of traditional rulers in increasing the rate of birth registration in the state.
The traditional ruler made the call as he spoke during a state-level meeting to plan field birth registration operations, reports The World News.
Mera said it was important for traditional and religious institutions to be fully involved in the birth registration drive given the respect they command in the communities.
The plan by the federal government to digitize birth registration comes as UNICEF says it is working closely with the NPC to complete birth registration for one million children in the State of Bauchi.