The Federal Government on Wednesday declared most Nigerian marriages “illegal” as only 314 worship centres have the licence to conduct weddings under the statutory Marriage Act.
Speaking at a one-day stakeholders’ conference on the conduct of statutory marriages in accordance with the Marriage Act cap, M6, LFN 2004 as amended, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Barr. Georgina E. Ehuriah revealed that only about 4, 689 licensed places of worship in Nigeria have updated their records with the Ministry of Interior, of which only 314 have renewed their licenses
She said “At present, only about 4, 689 licensed places of worship in Nigeria have updated their records with the Ministry of Interior, of which only 314 have renewed their licenses.
“The implication of this is that marriages conducted in unlicensed places of worship are not in line with the Marriage Act and cannot serve legal purposes when the need arises, and such unlicensed places of worship are operating contrary to Section 6(1) of the Marriage Act.”
Barr. Georgina further disclosed that the Interior ministry already has a database of all places of worship licensed for marriages, and is currently building a database of all statutory marriages conducted in Nigeria.