Friday, July 26, 2019

Most marriages are illegal as only 314 worship are currently licensed to conduct weddings - Nigerian FG

According to the Nigerian Federal Government, most marriages conducted in religious houses in Nigeria could be deemed illegal since only 314 worship centres have license to conduct weddings under the statutory Marriage Act.

Speaking recently at a one-day stakeholders’ conference on conduct of statutory marriages in accordance with the Marriage Act cap, M6, LFN 2004 as amended, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Barr. Georgina E. Ehuriah, revealed that only about 4, 689 licensed places of worship in Nigeria have updated their records with the Ministry of Interior, of which only 314 have renewed their licenses

“The implication of this is that marriages conducted in unlicensed places of worship are not in line with the Marriage Act and cannot serve legal purposes when the need arises, and such unlicensed places of worship are operating contrary to Section 6(1) of the Marriage Act.”
She noted that while the also developed a database of all places of worship licensed for celebration of marriages, urging stakeholders to take advantage of the Conference to discuss the major challenges they face in complying with the provisions of the Act.
The permanent secretary said she had already put in place machinery to kick start the process for the amendment of the Act to adequately meet the needs of citizens in the 21st century. 

“Also, arrangements are on-going to give couples whose certificates were not issued in line with the Act the opportunity to bring them to conformity,” she said. 

Earlier, Director, Citizenship and Business in the ministry, Mr. Stephen Okon had said the conference was scheduled to hold in three major cities across the geo-political zones, adding that it would provide an avenue to educate the public and create awareness on the key requirements of the Marriage Act while also drawing the attention of stakeholders and the general public to the consequences of non-compliance with the Marriage Act.

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