From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau
A child protection specialist under the United nation’s Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF)’s field (B), Kaduna state, Barrister Ladi Alabi, yesterday advocated for incessant public enlightenment towards ensuring birth registration in Zamfara state for economic reasons and for the sake of other federal plans on social services.
Barrister Alabi, who was speaking during a 3-day round table dialogue and joint action planning, organised by the UNICEF, in collaboration with the federal government, at Karma hotel in Gusau, the state capital, said non-compliance to birth registration is a punishable offence by law.
She further quoted that, section 48 sub-section A-B under births and death, has defined that, if parents fail or totally refuse to give birth information to questions asked by birth registration officers they shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction, to a fine or imprisonment.
The specialist emphasised the need for parents across the state to know the importance of birth registration, adding that even adults who were not eventually issued birth certificates during their birth could ensure the collection of attestation letter from the National Population Commission (NPC).
In his remarks, the state’s Director and Head of Vital Registration, NPC, Abubakar Abdullahi Maradun said, his beat has the largest land mass across the nation, with less number of Birth Registration Officers (BRO), expected to cover over 1,000 kilometres to meet the population requirement.
Maradun informed that Zamfara state has over one hundred thousand square kilometres, with only 32 birth registration officers, as against some other states in the North-West that have only 21-24 thousand square kilometres, with over one hundred officers on ground for the same job.
He called for more field officers with adequate provision of mobility that would facilitate fast coverage of the state that has the highest land mass across the nation.