First Word on SB

First Word on SB

Telling stories that matter to Nigerians


FW: Why did Nigerian lawmakers reject the Paternity Bill?

Aisha-Nana Salaudeen

Aisha-Nana Salaudeen

Aisha is trying to figure out how to tell as many impact stories as possible in different forms.

This article is part of our #FirstWord series to provide context on trending news.


A bill seeking to make paternity leave for men in private and public employment legal has been rejected by the Nigerian House of Representatives. The bill was centered around granting a two week paternity leave for husbands after their wives have just delivered.


What’s this about?

The bill, sponsored by Edward Pwajok, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Plateau state, argued men needed some days off work to attend to mother and child after birth and pointed out that the optional paternity leave would afford them that.

“There’s no better person to 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” - Edward Pwajok.

To become law, the bill needed to pass the First and Second Reading at the House of Representatives, Committee Stage and a Third Reading before being sent off to the Senate for concurrence and finally to the President for his assent. However, the bill did not scale its first reading because lawmakers were not convinced that fathers needed to be present after the birth of their child(ren) .

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