President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the classification of Civic Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) as essential service under the COVID-19 pandemic.
The acting chairman, National Population Commission (NPC), Dr. Eyitayo Oyetunji disclosed this at a press conference to mark the 3rd edition of Africa CRVS with the theme: “Civic Registration and Vital Statistics An Essential Service for Monitoring and Mitigating the Impact of Emergencies”, held in Abuja.
Oyetunji who also launched the automation and digitisation of the CRVS, said the aim was to highlight the benefits of CRVS in emergencies such as the COVID-19.
He said, “The registration of the vital events of births and deaths can be used to monitor the spread and intensity of the pandemic while at the same time, helping to provide information on possible strategies that can be evolved to mitigate its effects.
“To further ensure continuity of CRVS during the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations Legal Identity Task Force has called on all African States to recognise and classify CRVS as an essential service under the pandemic.
“We are happy to announce that in response to the call by the UN Task Force, the Nigerian Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has on behalf of His Excellency, Mr. President approved the formal classification of CRVS as an essential service under the pandemic”.
“Without this approval, it will not have been possible for the NPC to undertake the launching of the two bold steps towards boosting the implementation of CRVS in Nigeria,” he said.
The NPC boss appealed to Nigerians to join the commission in advocating for the registration and certification of births and deaths especially in rural communities now that the process has been digitalised.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his prompt and positive response which has made Nigeria the first African country to classify CRVS as an essential service under the pandemic.
Also speaking, Director-general, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr Aliyu Aziz, describes CRVS as crucial and essential in the economic development of any country.
He noted that CRVS is a roadmap to generate data for policymakers to drive transformation innovation and major development across the country.
He said, “We mark this Civil Registration and Vital Statistics day, and create the necessary awareness towards current and emerging population issues, we must all recognize that the task of developing sustainable CRVS systems across the continent of Africa lies in our dear hands.
“As a matter of priority, we must engage each other more, work closely together, learn lessons from each other, build synergy and support one another to function effectively and transform our continent,” he said.
Launching the automation and digitisation, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), Mohammed Musa Bello, described the launch as a landmark achievement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said, “Many of the dead, birth and migration which have occurred during this period have not been sufficiently reported and registered as a result of shutdowns of both government and private activities”.