National Assembly

The Goodfathers Foundation has called on the National Assembly to revived the Paternity Bill.

The Bill, if signed into law, would make provisions for optional paternity leave to all married male employees in private and public sector failed to scale through the second reading in the House of Representatives.

The Bill which is being sponsored by Hon. Edward Pwajok, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Plateau State was rejected while they were seeking to legalise a two-week paternity for men after their wives must have been delivered of babies.

The Bill, however, failed to scale through as it was roundly defeated with a unanimous voice vote two months ago.

In a two-day event held, in Abuja, the Foundation staged a road show to create awareness during its annual programme.

During the show, members of the Foundation visited major malls in Abuja to encouraged fathers in the society to take up fatherly roles and become responsible citizens.

The second day of the event hosted Goodfathers in a ball held at Top View Hotel, in Abuja, with several dignitaries graced the occasion including Aso Villa Chaplain, Mr. Seyi Malomo, Executive Director Top View Hotel & Emab Plaza, Mrs. Uchenna Umeohia, Senior Pastor Throne Room, Tunde Benjamin Olaniyi, and other public figures.

Convener of the Foundation, Mr. Nnaedu Umeohia, in his address said Parental leave, family leave, or partner leave in developed world, are employees’ benefits known across civilised societies.

In a particular case, he said that the employee is paid to remain at home for a stipulated time to care for a newborn or sort out issues affecting a child’s welfare.

Umeohia said governments at all levels in Nigeria should realised that the family, as the smallest unit of society should re-engineered.

He further said that the need for men to implement the qualities of being good fathers for the nation should be more sustainable.

Umeohia implored the National Assembly to reconsider the Paternity Bill for men, saying “The male staff should be entitled to such benefits, they could enjoy paternity leave it should not sound as something as far -fetched or just landing from the moon to Nigeria.

“This idea could help make a difference in family relationship and re-orders our value as a people.

“There are so many benefits associated with the paternal leave including the capacity of the father to contribute to the pre-natal and post natal care necessary to nuture a balanced baby.

“The male presence at this fragile moment would install confidence and give everyone firmer grip on things and the couple will also enjoy a great sense of bonding.

“Although, some members of rep, 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. With the view of rubbing off on the employer and country But the foundation disagrees” he stated.

Spokesperson of the Foundation, Chukwuebuka Anyaduba, highlighted on some of the achievements of the foundation since inception which includes; the awareness on Prostrate Cancer, The Walk for fathers, The Made Men Project, Mentorship and Capacity Building and further calls for the need for positive partnerships from organisations and stake holders.

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