The commitment of the National Population Commission to provide the nation with a wide range of demographic data for planning purposes received a boost as the Board of the Commission at its 150th Ordinary Meeting of 28th October 2015 approved the inclusion of marriages and divorces in its Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) programme.

    Making this known in a statement, Simon Otene, Director Public Affairs, NPC said, “The Commission also approved the proposed statutory marriage and divorce registration forms as instruments to be used for the registration of the two events.

    “The registration of marriages and divorces will facilitate the transition of the vital registration programme of the Commission to civil registration and vital statistics, which is consistent with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) protocol which stipulates that a CVRS must register not less than four vital events” he added.

    Furthermore, he said “Registration of marriages and divorce yields benefits for the nation and the individuals. At the national level, it provides data on prevalence, trend and rates of marriages and divorces and this will be useful in planning the health particularly reproductive health, education and social security sectors.

    “At the individual level, marriage registration and certification is particularly important for women and children. Proof of marital status provides them with legal protection from discrimination in enjoying the benefits accorded by marital union.
    “In some situations, marriage registration and certification confers upon a child his or her status of legitimacy and the right to inherit property from his or her parents. Birth certificates, coupled with laws that set the minimum age for marriage, help to prevent child marriages and their devastating consequences.

    “Also, Divorce certificates are important for alimony (spousal support), child custody, child support, distribution of property and division of debt. Divorce registration also allows the divorced parties to marry others.

    “The inclusion of registration of marriages and divorces has expanded the scope of the vital registration programme, which the Commission has implemented since 1989. Births and deaths are being registered throughout the country and certificates issued free of charge.

    “Recently, the coverage of birth and deaths registration has been increased with the engagement of 451 ad-hoc registrars to speed up the mop-up of the backlog of registration and register the new ones that occur on a daily basis in the 4440 Civil registration centres established nationwide.

    “Other steps taken to boost the registration of births and deaths include the development and use of Rapid-SMS dash board for monitoring birth registration on real time basis and collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) using the National Immunization Programme as a vehicle for registration of births.

    Meanwhile, as preparations continue for the proposed 2016/2017 National Population Census, the National Population Commission (NPC) has given an assurance that the exercise will be beyond reproach.

    NPC National Commissioner representing Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr. Daniel Aliyu Kwali who gave the assurance on Wednesday during the commencement of a month long state level training of Field Staff for Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) in the FCT said fool-proof measures were being incorporated into the exercise to ensure its credibility.

    “Today’s event marks another important chapter in the national quest for accurate and reliable demographic date for evidence based planning for sustainable development.

    “Considering the fact that 2016/2017 census will be biometric based and will seek to capture the facial impression and finger prints of persons during the census period, any hope of gaining advantage through manipulation of EAD will at best be an illusion that cannot be realized as only persons physically seen will be counted and their biometrics taken”, he said.

    Kwali then appealed to the traditional institution and communities to support the Commission in carrying out the 2016/2017 Census EAD by allowing unfettered access to facilities and places to be demarcated.”

    Declaring the training open, Etsu of Kwali, Dr. Shaban Audu Nizazo, III, pledged on behalf of traditional institution in the FCT to fully support the Federal Government and NPC in ensuring a credible census devoid of rancor.

    According to him, national population and housing census is both a godly and religious project and so, everybody living within the FCT would be fully mobilized to maximally support the exercise and ensure its success.

    “Whether Muslims or Christians, we are all duty bound to undergo census because religions and God support it

    “It is our duty to mobilize our people to undergo census, I want to assure you that we are going to work hard to mobilize our traditional chiefs to organize our people for the census”, he said.


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