Reps urges NPC to discontinue N4,500 birth registration charge
Brown Sylvia .A
House of Representatives, yesterday, directed the National Population Commission, NPC to discontinue the collection of N4,500 birth registration charge by Socket Works Ltd under the Public Private Partnership, PPP effective immediately.
It also asked the commission to return to their constitutional mandate of registering births and deaths in Nigeria at no cost to citizens as provided by law and ensure that the money so far collected is either forfeited to the federal government or returned to the owners.
The directive followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Nkiru Onyejiocha representing the good people of Isiukwuato/Umunneochi of Abia State at the Wednesday plenary on 12th December ,2018 under matters of urgent public importance.
The House reasoned that resorting to a PPP arrangement for birth registration which attracts a token of N4,500 from parents many of whom were indigent could be inimical to national interest.
To this end, the House urged the Federal Government to ensure sufficient funding of various Ministries, Department and Agencies, MDA’s to enable they carry out their duties to meet current global standards.
Moving the motion, Hon. Onyejiocha said: ” The House notes that the Births, Deaths, Etc. (Compulsory Registration) Act saddles the National Population Commission with the responsibility to register and manage data relating to births and deaths in Nigeria amongst other things.
“Further notes that the said Act make it compulsory for all births and deaths to be registered with the National Population Commission at no cost to citizens.
“Aware that accurate demographic records are very important for proper planning by governments at all levels and other non-government players in the economy.
“Informed by a Daily Trust publication dated 26th October, 2018 of the recent Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between the National Population Commission and Socket Works Ltd which has led to a N4,500 charge for processing birth registration.
“Worried that out of about 7 million children born yearly in Nigeria, 70% (4,900,000 births) of these births are unregistered (UNICEF report) and imposing charges for birth registration will further hinder indigent Nigerians from registering births with the National Population Commission.
“Alarmed at the rate in which some crucial public institutions in Nigeria like the NPC and the NYSC abdicate their core mandate to private third parties through the vehicle of PPP’s.
“Concerned that the reasons often given for this abdication of their core mandates is insufficient funds.
“Convinced that some responsibilities of public institutions are too crucial and sensitive to be left in private hands as such processes can be manipulated or abused”.
The motion was unianimously adopted by the lawmakers when subjected to voice vote by the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara.
Adopting the motion, the House mandated its Committees on Population, Delegated Legislation and Legislative Compliance to ensure implementation of the resolutions.