Lawmakers of the House of Representatives on Thursday rejected a bill seeking to grant leave to Nigerian male workers – married men – in advent of child birth by their wives.
According to them, Nigerian cultural and economic environment is not ripe for such privilege yet.
The bill, if passed, would have given fathers in both the private and public sector the option to take paternity leave.
During its second reading on Thursday, Edward Pwajok, a lawmaker from Plateau State, who sponsored the bill, argued that the idea that only women care for children is “outdated”.
“No better person can support a newly born baby than the father which will make the child more emotionally stable if the father stayed close.
“This will not be peculiar to Nigeria alone, it’s done globally,” he added.
He added that nations such as Denmark, UK, Iceland, Australia have all made progress partly because of their recognition of the role of men in the upbringing of children.
“As father’s share of parenting is on the increase, they experience similar challenges with women, such as their jobs and family duties clashing,” he said.
“Making provision for maternity leave without provision for maternity leave is discriminatory against men.”
Most of the lawmakers, however, described it as unnecessary, with Kingsley Chinda from Rivers stating that it should be thrown out.
He said: “What is the spirit behind the labour law? I think that this bill should be thrown out.”
However, when placed on voice note, the motion was roundly defeated.