BY DAVID ADUGE-ANI, Abuja
The federal government has approved the establishment of 20 new federal marriage registries, while efforts are ongoing to have more of such in all the state capitals of the federation.
The Permanent secretary ministry of interior, Dr Shuaib Belgore, who announced this at the 2021 National Stakeholders’ Conference on the Administration and Conduct of Statutory Marriage in Nigeria in Abuja on Friday, added that the ministry was now the sole authority to issue valid and legally recognised certificate of marriage, known as “FORM E”.
Belgore said the printing and issuance of marriage certificate booklets to licensed places of worship and marriage registries was the sole responsibility of the permanent secretary, who is the principal registrar of marriages, even as it is ministry’s sole regulatory responsibility for the issuance of licenses to public places of worship for the conduct of statutory marriages in Nigeria.
The permanent secretary directed local government councils in the country which have recently been designated as marriage districts to nominate officers as local government registrars of marriage and must procure marriage certificate booklets from the ministry of interior, while the nomination of the officers and their deputies should be endorsed by the principal registrar of marriages in Nigeria.
Earlier in a paper titled: Innovation and Matters of Interest in the Administration and Conduct of Statutory Marriage, the director of citizenship and business in the ministry, Mrs Moremi Soyinka-Onijala, said the need for a national conference on the administration and conduct of statutory marriage became compelling due to the various factors, such as lack of uniformity in the conduct of statutory marriage and in the types of marriage certificates issued.
Other needs for the national conference, according to Soyinka-Onijala, include the recently amended legal notices on marriage and its implications for the administration and conduct of statutory marriages, lingering disputes and litigation between the local governments and federal government as well as intending couples over the valid authority to conduct statutory marriages in the nation.