The House during plenary made the declaration that payment of money to the National Population Commission (NPC) to obtain birth certificates for newborn babies is illegal and should be stopped
This was after a motion was brought to the attention of the House by one of the lawmakers, Nkiru Onyejeocha (Abia, APC).
The lawmaker told the House that the sale of birth certificates has caused an increased rate of unregistered indigent Nigerian children due to the sum of N4,500 being charged.
Onyejeocha in her motion stated that the birth certificates should remain free as was the practice before. She added that given the poverty level in Nigeria, especially rural communities, the price is exorbitant. According to her, rural people may not be able to afford the money and eventually not register their children.
Another lawmaker, Chris Azubogu said birth registration is a social responsibility of government and a right of citizens that should not be hindered by the levy charged by the NPC.
The House Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, called for restitution and not just stopping the contract. He said the money illegally collected should be returned and sanctions be imposed on the erring parties.
He prayed the House to mandate the committee investigating the matter to recommend whether the monies be remitted to government’s coffers or refunded to the applicants.
The House also encouraged the Federal Government to ensure sufficient funding of ministries, departments and agencies carry out their mandates.