The Nigerian government has said it is exploring the possibility of integrating marriage registries operated by local governments into its online platform so as to bring them in conformity with the Marriage Act
This is coming barely three weeks after the Nigerian government had introduced a new Federal Marriage Certificate for all types of marriages in the country
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Georgina Ehuriah, disclosed this today in Port Harcourt, River State, while declaring open a one-day sensitisation conference on the conduct of statutory marriages in Nigeria with the theme: “Achieving Harmonious Compliance in the Conduct of Statutory Marriage in Nigeria“.
According to a release signed by the director of press of the ministry, Mohammed Manga, the government has declared its intention to set up marriage registries in all the 36 state capitals in the country to ensure uniformity in the conduct of statutory marriages.
She said arrangements are in motion to establish new federal marriage registries in Umuahia, Abia State and Uyo in Akwa Ibom State, in order to address the challenges faced by couples in the South-South and South East Zones.
“The Ministry is presently considering some of the recommendations made by stakeholders in the course of the conference like, extending the validity period for licences issued to places of worship for the celebration of marriages as well as downward review of the fees payable by couples for conduct of statutory marriages in federal marriage registries,” she said.
She also said that a machinery has also been put in place for the amendment of the Marriage Act to adequately meet the needs of the 21st century
According to her, arrangements are on-going to give couples whose certificates were not issued in line with the Act the opportunity to bring them to conformity.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director, Citizenship & Business Department, of the Interior, Stephen Okon, said the Conference was necessitated by the challenges faced by citizens because of wrong documentation of their marriages which have led to series of litigations.
Mr Okon said that the conference is aimed at creating more awareness on issues surrounding conduct of valid statutory marriage as well as bringing about conformity with the law and uniformity in the activities of the marriage registries across the nation.
He called for synergy among stakeholders to build a harmonious collaboration that would help in resolving issues militating against the sanctity in the conduct and documentation of statutory marriages in the country.
The event, which marks the end of the first round of the workshop on the conduct of statutory marriages in the country, had earlier been held in Abuja and Lagos.