Bill to Criminalize Child Abandonment Passes Second Reading
By Gloria Essien, Abuja
The House of Representatives has passed for second reading, a Bill for an act to Criminalize Child Abandonments in Nigeria.
The sponsor of the Bill, Honourable Sergius Ogun, while leading the debate said the bill titled ” Bill for an Act to Amend the Child Rights Act, seeks to impose sanction on any parent who abandons a new born child and absconds after birth.
He explained that the Bill was proposing a punishment of a fine of two hundred thousand naira or imprisonment for six months or both.
“This Bill therefore seeks to specifically make provision within the child right Act against the practice of child abandonment by parents, by introducing a new subsection 3 into the extant section 14 of the act,” Honourable Ogun said.
Contributing to the debate, a member from Delta State, Honourable Nicholas Ossai, noted that though it was the duty of parents to cater for a child, the government also has a duty to complement the duty of parents.
“Imagine a father who has brought out a child into the world and has no work for the past eight years.It is the duty of that government to help that father and the child,” Honourable Ossai said.
The Bill was referred to the Committee on Women Affairs.