The House of Representatives has called on the federal government to forestall the activities of baby factories through effective intelligence gathering and dissemination of information.
The lawmakers made this call on Tuesday while adopting a motion by Ossy Prestige (Abia, APGA).
The motion was titled “Need to Address the Menace of Baby Factories in Nigeria”.
The United Nations Report on Nigeria in 2006 drew attention to the existence of baby factories in the country.
This practice has continued unabated to an alarming proportion in different parts of the country, especially in the southern part, with babies being sold as ordinary wares.
The term “baby factories” also referred to as “baby farms or baby harvesting”, is a new form of human trafficking with the factories located in secret places where young girls and ladies are lured into and encouraged or coerced to get pregnant and deliver babies for sale.
According to a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) report, human trafficking is the third most common heinous crime ravaging Nigeria after financial fraud and drug trafficking.
Like most other organised crimes, baby factories operate as a powerful cartel involving prominent people backing the nefarious trade.
They operate under the guise of orphanage homes, prayer homes, social welfare homes or maternity homes and clinics, thereby luring unsuspecting teenage girls and ladies with all sorts of bait; and those victims find the hostels as safe havens for secretly dropping their unwanted babies for a token.
Moving the motion, Mr Prestige said the extremely poor and vulnerable teen girls and ladies see such homes as veritable opportunities for redressing their economic misfortunes by selling their babies for peanuts.
“According to a report by the United Nations, at least ten (10) babies are illegally sold every day in Nigeria, a development that is worrisome and poses a great threat to national security, especially with the global rise in human organs trafficking,” he said.
He said he was desirous of putting an end to the operations of those baby factories in order to save the helpless teen girls and ladies from the risks involved in their indulgences.
Part of the prayers adopted by the house was to urge the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure that all maternity homes and orphanages are duly registered and issued licences to operate within their scope.
The house also urged the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to closely monitor orphanages and maternity homes to prevent them from being used for nefarious activities.
The lawmakers further urged state governments to domesticate the Child’s Rights Act to ensure adequate protection of children.
In his ruling, the speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, mandated the committees on Human Rights and Healthcare Services to ensure implementation.