The House of Representatives has passed for second reading, a bill, which proposes six months jail term for parents who abandon their newborns or growing children.
The bill tagged, “Act to Re-amend the Child Rights Act, Cap. C50, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004,”’ is sponsored by the member representing Esan North East/Esan South East federal constituency, Sergius Ogun (Edo, PDP).
Presenting the bill at the plenary on Tuesday, the sponsor stated that, “This bill seeks to make provision within the child’s right act against the practice of child abandonment by parents by introducing a new sub-section 3 into the extant section 14 of the Act. The provision goes thus; ‘No child shall be abandoned at the time or place of birth, the conditions of his birth notwithstanding.”
“Parents that abandon a child at the time of his birth shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction shall be liable to fine of N200,000 or six months imprisonment or both.”
Contributing, member representing Ndokwa East/Ndokwa West/Ukwuani federal constituency of Delta State, Ossai Nicholas Ossai, said the government had a duty to also complement the duty of parents.
“We have social security in the USA whereby if you are not working and you are not able to take care of your child, social security is there.”
The Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, said the proposed bill was clear on what it sought to amend.
The bill has been referred to the committee on women’s affairs for further legislative work.