Nigerian Parliament rejects Paternity Leave

A bill for an Act to make provisions for optional paternity leave to all married male employees in private and public service, on Thursday failed to scale through second reading in the House of Representatives.

The bill, sponsored by Edward Pwajok (Plateau-APC), subsequently failed to scale through as it was roundly defeated with a unanimous voice vote.

Members, who balked at the idea of granting paternal leave to Nigerian male workers, said that the Nigerian cultural and economic environment was not ripe for such privilege yet.

According to Pwajok, the proposal for a two week or more (depending on the decision of the of House) paternity leave is to ensure that mother and child get adequate care from the father.

He said the leave became important if the mother or the child had health challenges which would make the presence of the father very significant.

The lawmaker also said that the presence of the father would afford the child the care he or she deserved during that early period.

“No better person can support a newly born baby than the father which will make the child more emotionally stable if the father stays close.

“This will not be peculiar to Nigeria alone, it’s done globally,” he said.


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