Mr Mohamed Isah, the Director, Public Affairs Department, National Population Commission, has urged Nigerians to always obtain death certificates for their deceased ones.
Isah gave the advice during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.
He explained that death certificate was another platform of updating the country’s population, saying that it is as important as birth certificate.
He said the certificate provides demographic records to the commission, which it analyses and disseminates as data for public consumption.
According to him, death certificate is important because it states the cause of death as well as age and time the death occurred.
Isah noted that it also helped in informing the populace that a particular cause of death was endemic.
“With the information gathered, we can tell Nigerians that a particular ailment has been causing deaths.
“It can also help the government plan as well as intervene in order to prevent future deaths.
“Death certificate also gives a next of kin the right to get or collect the deceased entitlements,” he said.
Isah further said that death certificate also helps in gathering information on infants and maternal mortality, epidemics and endemics as well as keep track of diseases.
The director explained that when the practice of collection of death certificate becomes a norm, it would no longer be necessary to conduct census, because the records would have been up to date at any particular material time.
“Nigerians find it difficult to collect death certificate if there is nothing to inherit from the deceased.
“But it is not about inheritance; the information gathered from cause of death is key.
“Like in Kaltungo town in Gombe State, snake bite is a major cause of death in that town and with that information, government was able to intervene,” he added.
Isah, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to always obtain a death certificate to assist the commission in its statutory role of data collation and analysis.