Kenneth Ibeh, a lawmaker representing Obowo state constituency in the Imo State House of Assembly, has sponsored a bill to reduce the expenses of marriage in the state to at most N180,000, according to a report by SaharaReporters.
Ibeh lamented that the bill was necessary as many young women in the state had yet to be married due to the expensive cost of marriage and the bride price.
“Imo women are not getting married due to the high cost of marriage and bride price,” Ibeh stated on the floor of the house as he presented his bill.
Presenting the bill for the second reading on Wednesday, March 10, during plenary, Ibeh said that outrageous marriage bills had caused many ladies to remain single as suitors can’t afford to pay.
He said, “A suitor coming to pay for a lady’s dowry may find 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.”
According to the bill, 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.
This would then be presented for the final issuance of Customary Marriage Certificate at a cost not exceeding N1000.
The bill added that no customary marriage in the state, including the final stage of the Igbankwu ceremony, shall exceed the sum of N180,000, and that the bride price should not exceed N80,000.