Nigeria

Oyo Assembly proposes six months maternity, four weeks paternity leave

Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon Adebo Ogundoyin

A proposal that women working in the public sector be granted six months maternity leave at full pay has been thrown up, on the floor of the Oyo State House of Assembly.

This proposal came in the form of a motion presented by the member representing Ogbomoso North constituency, Honourable Wumi Oladeji at the Assembly’s plenary held on Tuesday.

Oladeji hinged the motion on the need for the state to comply with the stipulation by the World Health Organization (WHO) that mothers should exclusively breastfeed for six months.

She described the four months maternity leave presently in practice in the state as inadequate, noting that granting nursing mothers six months off work will give them the needed time to breastfeed.

She argued that limited maternity protection policies prevented women from having time to breastfeed thereby increasing child and maternal mortality in the state.

In promoting her proposal, Oladeji pointed to the benefits of improved intelligence, productivity, healthy start to life that exclusive breastfeeding offers.

The motion also identified the role of fathers in the healthy and holistic development of children asking that new fathers should also be granted paternity leave of four weeks.

Ruling on the proposal, Speaker of the Assembly, Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin asked the House Committee on Women Affairs to meet with the state Ministries of Health and Women Affairs to look at reviewing existing laws on maternity leave in the state.

Speaking on another motion by Honourable Yusuf Adebisi of Ibadan South West 1 constituency, Ogundoyin urged the state government to implement concrete plans to curtail flood incidences in the state.

Ogundoyin sought collaboration among the Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project, Oyo State Road Maintenance Agency and state Ministry of Works and Transport in identifying hot spots of flooding, having flood prevention plans and fixing damages from flood occurrences.

In the motion, Adebisi had pointed to the need for the state government to clear waterways and rehabilitate roads.

He noted that dredging of rivers across the state had become expedient to forestall a recurrence flood disaster in areas in Ibadan to include Olodo, Onipepeye, Oki, Ariyo among others.

Adebisi further tasked the Oyo State Road Maintenance Agency (OYSROMA) to rehabilitate roads in not just elitist areas but also remote areas.

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