Nigeria has achieved a significant milestone with the formal launch of the electronic Civil Registration and Vital Statistics System (eCRVS) and Geospatial Data Repository. This historic event took place at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu leading the ceremony.
This achievement holds tremendous importance as Nigeria has long grappled with a lack of reliable data for planning across all sectors. The introduction of the eCRVS aims to replace the prevalent use of estimated figures by policymakers with accurate and scientifically substantiated statistics.
Furthermore, the eCRVS project is expected to facilitate the operations of various government agencies, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the National Identity Card Management, and Immigration. For instance, the INEC registration process will now reflect real-time data, and the records of deceased individuals will be promptly removed, eradicating the use of outdated or inaccurate information.
This initiative aligns with the United Nations Legal Identity Agenda, encouraging member states to establish electronic, technology-driven systems for enhanced data generation and civil statistics.
The implementation of the eCRVS project is being undertaken by the National Population Commission (NPC) through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with Banksforte Technologies Limited. This partnership leverages the expertise of Banksforte Technologies, a reputable and innovative indigenous ICT solution provider, and is further supported by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).
Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra, Chairman of the NPC, elucidated that the PPP arrangement aims to establish a comprehensive electronic system that encompasses all aspects of civil registration. This includes birth registration, still birth registration, birth attestation, adoption, marriage notification, divorce notification, migration, and death records. The system will provide digital certificates, a verification platform for registered organizations, and a central management system for analyzing collated civil registrations into vital statistics for informed decision-making. This marks a significant departure from the traditional paper-based approach and embraces state-of-the-art digital solutions aligned with international best practices.
In addition to the formal launch of the eCRVS and Geospatial Data Repository, President Tinubu will inaugurate the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) National Coordination Committee. This high-level coordination mechanism aims to involve all relevant stakeholders to ensure the efficient functioning of the digital CRVS system, support the development of institutional and human infrastructure, and establish procedures for capturing various vital statistics events in Nigeria. It also seeks to secure commitments for financial and political investments, both nationally and internationally, to advance birth registration within the CRVS system. The overall objective is to improve civil registration and vital statistics systems in Nigeria over a ten-year period, from 2023 to 2030, in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.9.2, which focuses on legal identity for all, including birth registration.
The launch of the Digital Civil Registration and Vital Registration System is set to revolutionize the process of registering births and deaths in Nigeria, marking a significant step towards achieving SDG Goal 16.9.2. This development will create a strong foundation for an efficient Civil Registration and Vital Statistics system.
The NPC Chairman emphasized the Commission’s dedication to the project and the significant investments made in digitization processes, ensuring that Nigeria possesses a near real-time georeferenced Census data update.
Nigerian citizens, as well as traditional, religious leaders, NGOs, and the private sector, are called upon to support the NPC’s mission in realizing the dream of providing essential Vital Registration data for sustainable development.
Reflecting on the impact of the project on children in the country, Mr. Ibrahim Sesay, the Chief of Child Protection at UNICEF, expressed concern regarding the significant disparities in child registration between rural and urban areas. UNICEF is committed to ensuring that every child in Nigeria is registered, as birth certificates are fundamental to accessing services such as education and healthcare.
As these projects represent low-hanging fruit for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, it is crucial for the President to maintain a strong and personal interest in their successful implementation. Additional funding may be necessary to guarantee proper execution and long-term sustainability. Nigerians are also encouraged to embrace these initiatives, offering their cooperation and support to the NPC to ensure their success.
Violence Erupts Near Wike’s Residence, 3 Students Shot at Lifecamp Secondary School in Abuja
Three students were shot at Lifecamp Government Secondary School in Abuja, just 500 meters away from the residence of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike. The perpetrators, described as “bad boys,” reportedly came armed with guns, turning the school premises into a scene of chaos. A concerned source revealed that such gun violence has sadly become a yearly occurrence, raising serious questions about the security situation in the heart of Abuja. The Lifecamp Government Secondary School is located directly opposite the Lifecamp Police Station, emphasizing the urgency for authorities to address the recurring threat faced by students and residents in the area.
The source expressed frustration, stating, “I don’t know if you can raise awareness about this issue. This shouldn’t be happening in the heart of Abuja by small children, and nobody is doing or saying anything.” The proximity of the incident to prominent figures, including the FCT Minister, adds to the gravity of the situation. As the news unfolds, parents are left devastated, with bloodstains marking another unfortunate chapter in the history of violence at Lifecamp Government Secondary School. The authorities, including the police, are under scrutiny for their response time, highlighting the need for swift and effective measures to ensure the safety of students and residents in the area. The community demands urgent action to break the pattern of violence that seems to grip the school annually.
Despite attempts to reach out for official statements, the spokesperson for the FCT Police Command, Josephine Adeh, remained unresponsive at the time of reporting. The incident underscores the pressing need for a comprehensive and sustained strategy to address security concerns around educational institutions, ensuring that schools remain safe spaces for learning and growth.
Abuja Film Village International Staff Protest Unlawful Termination, Seek FCT Minister’s Intervention
The leader of the Abuja Film Village International (AFVI), Habila Kayit, has called on the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, to intervene in the unlawful termination of appointment of his colleagues which has resulted in a heated protest from staff members of the organization on Wednesday 27, 2023 in Abuja.
The protesting staff members who lamented the unreasonable sack of their colleagues explained that since September 30, 2022, they have not been paid their salaries and allowances, even though they have families and dependants.
They conveyed their dismay of the unlawful termination of the employment of Staff members of Abuja Film Village International Limited by its then Managing Director, Barr Francisca Ibezim, saying they were fully employed by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and had enjoyed every privilege that comes with the employment.
“We were invited on September 30, 2022 through a notice for staff meeting but received the greatest shock of our lives as the entire staff was issued termination letters with no specific reason for their action.
However, we do not enjoy attracting negative publicity to the administration which we are also a part of. As a result, we have followed all administrative channels to seek reinstatement but all to no avail hence the resolve to cry out for help,” Kayit said.
It was gathered that over 5,000 hectares of land were allocated for the project in Kusaki and Yanga Districts of Kuje Area Council for the actualization of the Abuja Film village project from inception, but the project which should provide jobs to millions of people in the creative industry seem to have been abandoned.
Kayit further said they were employed on a full time basis as staff of Abuja Film Village International and some worked for over 15 years.
According to her, when the then Minister of the FCT, Muhammadu Bello, came on-board in 2015, he made frantic efforts to reposition FCTA business holdings including Abuja Film Village for profitability and better service delivery.
The protesting staff thus demanded the immediate reinstatement of their sacked colleagues and appealed for the full payment of their salaries and arrears over the time of the unlawful disengagement, while calling for the immediate investigation of the 400 Million allocated in the 2023 budget for the AFVI by the National Assembly.
FEC Approves N27.5 Trillion 2024 Budget as President Tinubu Prepares Presentation
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has given its nod to the 2024 Appropriation Bill, revealing an aggregate expenditure of N27.5 trillion. The announcement was made by the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, following a FEC meeting chaired by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The approved budget marks an increase of over N1.5 trillion compared to the earlier projection of N26.01 trillion. Minister Bagudu stated that the targeted revenue for the upcoming year is set at N18.32 trillion, which surpasses the revenues of 2023, including those from supplementary budgets. Despite the increased expenditure, the deficit is reported to be lower than that of the previous year.
The Minister highlighted the adjustments made to the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Policy Framework. The exchange rate was revised to N750 to $1, and the benchmark crude oil reference price increased to $77.96, representing a $4 increment from the initial approval.
President Tinubu is set to present the budget to the National Assembly on Wednesday, unveiling the administration’s priorities and financial allocations for key sectors, including health, education, infrastructure, and security.
In a bid to enhance transparency and public engagement, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abbas Tajudeen, announced plans for a Town Hall meeting on the 2024 Appropriation Act. This innovative approach aims to gather inputs from Nigerians before the budget comes into effect, fostering inclusivity and building trust in the legislative process.
Speaker Tajudeen urged all committees to expedite their considerations, aiming for a two-week timeframe to ensure the swift passage of the budget. Emphasizing the importance of collaboration and teamwork, he outlined the need for committees to operate effectively, engage with the public, and contribute meaningfully to the legislative process.
As President Tinubu prepares to present the budget in person, this marks a crucial moment in Nigeria’s fiscal planning, setting the stage for economic priorities and development initiatives in the coming year. The government’s commitment to transparency and public participation is evident in the planned Town Hall meeting, showcasing a proactive approach to inclusive governance.
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