The Coordinator, National Youth Council, Awka chapter, Mr Stanley Nkala, has attributed the rising number of single mothers in Anambra State to high cost of marriage rites.
Nkala stated this during a forum organised by the Justice Development and Peace Caritas in collaboration with the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office in Awka on Thursday.
He lamented that children of single mothers ended up becoming perpetrators of crimes and insecurity in the society, due to lack of proper fatherly care and upbringing.
He said, “Such outrageous cost of marriage rites discourage many eligible bachelors from attempting to get married; resulting to many young girls who cannot find husbands resorting to becoming single mothers.
“There is the need to make the process of getting married more affordable so as to restore the sanctity of the marriage institution and discourage our girls from becoming single mothers.”
Following the outcry by the youths, the President of Anambra State Association of Town Union (Women wing), Franca Nwigbo, canvassed for legislation to make the process of getting married affordable.
Nwigbo said enacting a law to reduce the cost of marriage in the state would go a long way in assisting youths to settle down as couples at a reasonable age.
She said, “For me, the problem is not the bride price itself, but other traditional rites, including wine carrying, which differs from one village to another.
“If the government can come up with a guideline, it will go a long way in assisting our youths. Most of them who are of age to marry are still single because of the cost of marriage rites.”
In his remarks, the Manager, JDPC Onitsha/FCDO project, Mr Alphonsus Nwoye, said there was a need to review the high demands for marriage rites in the state to enable young men and women to get married.
“We will make our recommendations and plan a visit to the state government and traditional rulers in the communities so that these issues will be thoroughly considered,” he added.