A Child Right Activist, Comrade Ighorhiowhunu Aghogho on Wednesday said the National Population Commission, NPC is very right in declaring as invalid, any birth certificates issued by Local Government and hospitals across the nation.
Aghogho spoke with DAILY POST during a chat in Warri.
He noted that the NPC was empowered with the Birth/Death Compulsory Registration Act of 1992 to issue birth certificates to citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Aghogho noted that there is no law that empowers the local government councils and hospitals to issue out birth certificates.
Aghogho pointed out that what the local government councils and hospitals had issued to their indigenes before now is, “Identification Certificates”.
He stressed that the identification certificates by the various Local Government Councils and hospitals in the Country is unlawful and fraudulent.
According to Aghogho, “Since there is a special law that created the NPC and that law states that the Birth/Death empowers the Local Government to issue both Birth/Death Certificates. That’s the law that empowers the NPC to do that.
“What the Local Government are doing is identification certificates and that does not amount to birth certificates. So, any Local Government doing that is unlawful.”
While pointing out that there is no law authorizing the hospitals to issue birth certificates, Aghogho said, “The hospitals can only report issues of birth and death to the NPC. That’s why the NPC sends their staff to most of the hospitals and local government councils to issue birth certificates. ”
Another human rights activist, Comrade Israel Joe in his reaction said, “The National Populations Commission is right to invoke certain mandate of her act especially Part 2, Section 6 and Sub-section 1b which stated that the Commission shall establish and maintain machinery for continuous and universal registration of births and deaths throughout the federation.”
Joe, however, said the Commission should understand the bottlenecks situation facing them.
Joe urged the NPC to fashion out ways with a view to partner the health sector to ensure easy registration of births and deaths both from government, private and local native centres.
“With the growing population of the Nigerian people, we cannot afford to be analogous in operation hereby constraining and truncating easy processes or difficult ones.
“The NPC must also kill corruption in their local and health centers before attempting to make the process cumbersome. The NPC should create a website where it could be easy to make registration and also kill the corruption within their ranks.
“We may be forced to take legal action against the NPC if they attempt to increase the suffering of Nigerians.”