Thursday, 19 November 2015

NPC To Begin Registration Of Marriages And Divorces

The National Population Commission (NPC) on Thursday, November 19 said it will begin the registration of marriages and divorce across Nigeria.

The director of public affairs of the commission Simon Otene in Abuja said these registrations were approved by the board of the commission at its 150th Ordinary Meeting in October.

He said the commission has also approved a proposed statutory marriage and divorce registration forms as instruments for the registrations.

The registration of both events will facilitate the transition of the vital registration programme of the NPC to civil registration and vital statistics which is consistent with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) protocol that requires that a Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) must register not less than four vital events, 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,” Otene said.

Otene added that the divorce certificates are key to alimony, child support, distribution of property and division of debt while it also allows the parties involved to marry others after the divorce.

But at the individual level, Otene said that the marriage registration and certificate is mostly important for women and children for proof of marital status which provides legal protection; provides a child with a 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.

“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,” he said.

Otene also said that other steps like 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 (NPI) as a vehicle for registration of births have been taken by the commission to boost the registration of births and deaths in Nigeria.

Also, the national commissioner of the NPC representing the Federal Capital Territory Daniel Kwali said has assured Nigerians that the 2016/2017 census will be beyond reproach.

Kwali said that fool-proof measures were being incorporated into the exercise to ensure its credibility.

“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,” Kwali said.
He also appealed to traditional institution and communities to support the commission in carrying out the 2016/2017 census Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) by allowing unrestrained access to facilities and places to be demarcated.

The Etsu of Kwali Shaban Nizazo, III also pledged on behalf of traditional institution in the Federal Capital Territory to fully support the federal government and NPC to ensure a credible census devoid of rancor.

He said 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,” Nizazo said.