Senate Bill Threatens Imprisonment for Parents not Enrolling Kids in Schools

The 10th Senate, under the leadership of Godswill Akpabio, has passed the first reading of a bill proposing a N50,000 fine for parents who neglect to give their children primary and secondary education.

A legislation proposed by Senator Orji Kalu, named the ‘Mandatory Free Universal Basic Education Act 2004, Section 2’, indicates that it is the responsibility of every Nigerian government to deliver free, compulsory, and universal basic education to all children of primary and secondary school age.”

This regulation states in further detail: “It is compulsory for every parent to ensure that their child or dependant completes their primary and junior secondary education by ensuring their consistent attendance at these institutions.

“The Act also stipulates that all parties involved in a local government area’s educational affairs should ensure every parent or guardian complies with their educational responsibilities as defined in section 2(2) of this Act.”

This regulation indicates that parents who fail to adhere to this requirement may face reprimanding upon the first conviction.

“Upon a second conviction, the offender might face a fine of N2,000, a jail term of one month, or a combination of both; for following convictions, they could be liable to a fine of N5,000, a prison term of two months, or perhaps both.”

Nonetheless, the Senate has proposed to increase the fine to N50,000 against the N5,000 initially specified in the legislation.

The revised proposal specifies: “Section (4)(b) of the Principal Act will be altered by replacing N2,000 with N20,000. In Section (4)(c) of the Principal Act, N5,000 is to be replaced with N50,000.”

The revised law further proposes: “Section 3(2) of the Principal Act is to be revised by substituting N10,000 with N100,000.”

The legislation defines an offence as follows: “Anyone who gains any consideration counter to the stipulation of sub-section (1) of this section commits a crime and may face prosecution leading to a fine not exceeding N10,000 or jail time of three months or both.

“All parents must ensure their children receive full-time, age, capacity, and suitability appropriate education by regularly attending school.”

However, the Senate is proposing to increase the potential fine from N10,000 to N100,000.

The Senate’s proposal specifies: “Section 3(2) of the Principal Act should be revised by omitting N10,000 and including N100,000.”

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