By Faruq Shuaibu
A report by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed that early marriage of children between the ages of 15 and 18 years has dropped from 44 percent in 2016 to 30 per cent in 2021 The report titled 2021 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) and National Immunization Coverage Survey (NICS) stated that states with the highest prevalence of child marriage include Bauchi (749%), Katsina (729%), Jigawa (70.896) and Kebbi states (62.29%).
Speaking at the launch of the report yesterday in Abuja, the UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, said the results of the report revealed that Nigeria had made progress in some sectors as child mortality decreased from 1 in 8 children dying before their fifth birthday (MICS 2016) to 1 in 10 children (MICS 2021).
“There has also been significant progress in exclusive breastfeeding and birth registration rates the exclusive breastfeeding rate increased from 24 per cent to 34 percent, while nearly 60 per cent of Nigerian children are now registered at birth with civil authorities, compared to 47 percent in 2016, Hawkins said. While stating that the survey was developed by UNICEF to assist countries in filling data gaps for monitoring human development indicators in general and the situation of children and women, he said the result was mixed. On his part, the Statistician General of the Federation/CEO of NBS, Prince Adeyemi Adeniran, stated that the report provided evidence-based data for all key stakeholders to prioritise quality services for children and women with higher efficiency and effectiveness. He said the information collated would in forming policies aimed at social inclusion of the most vulnerable population, “help identify disparities, and allow for international comparalbility.
cullde from Daily Trust