By EricJames Ochigbo
Abuja – A Bill for an Act to amend the Births and Deaths Act, to eliminate requirement for payment of fees for registration of births and deaths in Nigeria has passed second reading at the House of Representatives.
The bill which was sponsored by Rep. Sergius Ogun and Rep. Ademorin Kuye also seeks to review upwards fine prescribed for violating provisions of the Act.
Leading the debate on Wednesday, Ogun said that bill had 11 clauses and that the objectives included removal of limitations on birth registration and to encourage citizens to register births of their children and that of dead persons.
The Rep said when passed into law, the bill will enable the National Population Commission to keep accurate data with regards to the nation’s population.
“It will give effect to the provisions of section 15 of the Act which provides that the registrar shall upon registering a birth deliver to the informant, free of charge, a certificate of birth provided that no such certificate shall be issued in case of a stillborn birth,” he said.
Contributing to the debate, Kuye said that the bill, when passed will make it mandatory for parents, Pastors and Imams to register any child before naming ceremony was done.
The lawmaker said that there would be penalties for any one found violating the law to serve as deterrent to others.
Kuye said that the bill would help the country to have a better understanding of its population based on gender to make for more effective planning.
In his ruling, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila referred the bill to the Committee on Population for further legislative action.