The House of Representatives said its bill to criminalise child abandonment in the country has passed second reading.
Sergius Ogun from PDP-Delta sponsored the bill and also led the debate on the floor of the House on Tuesday.
According to him, the bill was to impose sanctions on any parent that abandoned a newborn baby.
The bill read:
“A Bill for an Act to Amend the Child Rights Act, Cap. C50, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, seeks to impose sanction on any parent who abandons a newborn child and absconds after birth.”
Ogun explained that the bill proposed 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.”
The bill was further referred to the Committee on Women Affairs.
However, Nicholas Ossai (Delta-PDP) while speaking opined that though parents must cater for a child, the government also must assist 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.”