The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said an estimated 26,039 babies will be born in Nigeria on new year's day.
UNICEF's Nigeria representative, Mr Peter Hawkins, said on Wednesday in statement Nigerian babies would account for almost seven per cent of the estimated 392,078 babies to be born on New Year's Day globally.
Hawkins said that this figure was the third-highest number of babies in the world, after India with 67,385; and China, 46,299.
"The beginning of a new year and this year, a new decade, is a chance for us to reflect on our hopes and dreams for the future of Nigeria, especially for those who stand to inherit this country; its children,â€ he said.
Hawkins observed that as each new year was started , people should be reminded of the potential of each and every Nigerian child embarking on her or his life's journey be given that chance to survive and thrive.
The representative said, however, that for millions of newborns around the world, including in Nigeria, the day of their birth was far less auspicious, and sadly, was often their last.
According to him, 2.5 million newborns died in just their first month of life around the world in 2018; about a third of them on the first day of life.
"In Nigeria, this was 318,522 deaths; among those children, most died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis.
"In addition, more than 2.5 million babies are born dead each year, with more than 400,000 stillborn deaths taking place in Nigeria annually,â€ he said.
Hawkins said that UNICEF's Every Child Alive campaign called for immediate investment in health workers with the right training.
According to him, workers, who are equipped with the right medicines to ensure every mother and newborn were cared for by a safe pair of hands to prevent and treat complications during pregnancy, delivery and birth.
Hawkins reasoned that too many mothers and newborns were not being cared for by a trained and equipped midwife or nurse, and the results were devastating.
The representative maintained that it was imperative to ensure that millions of babies survive their first day and live into this decade and beyond if every mother has good pregnancy care, with every baby born into a safe pair of hands.
He stressed that having well-equipped facilities with well-trained staff who can be there to welcome every Nigerian child into this world safely and healthily was critical.
"This is especially critical as we now only have 10 years to deliver on the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),â€ Hawkins said.