The National Population Commission says registration for birth and death certificates are offered free by the commission.
The Chairman of NPC, Chief Eze Duruiheoma, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.
Duruiheoma was reacting to allegations by some Nigerians that they were being charged various sums from N2 ,000 upwards at the different registration points established by the commission across the country.
“The commission does not charge for issuance of birth or death certificates, but rather the private organisations engaged for the job,’’ he explained.
According to him, the certificate is free for children from 0 – days to 17 years of birth, after which a N2,000 penalty is imposed on defaulters who must also produce an affidavit from a law court.
Duruiheoma, however, explained that the commission had engaged the technical services of the private sector under a Public -Private-Partnership arrangement in order to remedy the challenge faced by NPC in the vital registration process.
According to him, it is the responsibility of the commission to register births and deaths, but there is difficulty in analysing the register due to analogue way of processing information.
He explained that NPC got approval to engage Socket Works Ltd under the PPP after consultation with necessary authorities including the SGF.
Duruiheoma underscored the need for the partnership, saying that the commission has been struggling over the years to switch from analogue to automated ways of registering births and deaths.
“The commission has been struggling over the years to switch from analogue to automated, but couldn ’t do that due to lack of funds.
“Births and deaths are being registered by hand and the states struggle to put the data together and even when they do, it is difficult for us in the headquarters to analyse it,” he explained.