Imo lawmaker sponsors bill to reduce bride prices
A lawmaker representing Obowo constituency in the Imo State House of Assembly, Kenneth Ibeh, has sponsored a bill to reduce the expenses of marriage in the state to a maximum of N180,000.
Ibeh said the bill was necessary as many young women in the state are yet to be married due to the expensive cost of marriage and the bride price.
According to him, the bill, which was presented for the second reading on Friday, would address the outrageous marriage bills that had caused many ladies to remain single in the state as suitors cannot afford to pay.
“A suitor coming to pay for a lady’s dowry may finds it taxing to settle for the English wedding which again demands more expenses.
“It is quite unfortunate that this practice has caused so many of our marriageable ladies to remain single and men apprehensive of taking the bold step. This is wrong and we must discourage it at all cost,” Ibe said.
The bill proposes that once a suitor pays and completes the bride price of a woman, a clearance certificate should be issued to the groom by the father of the bride, who will present the certificate to the traditional ruler of the community.
The clearance certificate, the bill says, would then be presented for the final issuance of Customary Marriage Certificate at a cost not exceeding N1000.
The proposed law stated that no customary marriage in the state, including the final stage of the Igbankwu ceremony, should exceed the sum of N180,000, and that the bride price should not exceed N80,000.