Amidst the uncontrolled proliferation of churches across cities and villages, the Delta state commissioner for women affairs, Omatsola Williams, has said that not all churches in the state are fit to conduct marriages, hence she called on churches conducting marriages without the approval of government to come to the ministry of women affairs to get registered.
This is even as the commissioner said over 100 lost but found children within and outside Delta state have been reunited with their families.
The commissioner made this revelation while answering questions from journalists during the ministerial press briefing at the state ministry of information conference hall in Asaba, the delta state capital.
While the churches are growing in leaps and bounds without borders, it still remains an issue as to how the ministry or the government will monitor unregistered churches from conducting marriages and melting sanctions on them.
Omatsola affirmed that before a church could operate, it ought to have been registered with the corporate affairs commission, after which it should come for registration with the state government which is done in the ministry of women affairs.
However, Omatsola added that there are certain conditions considered before approving a church to conduct marriages. She said the church must have a permanent church structure, adequate space for car parks, good and standard safe where documents are kept and then the size of the church.
Omatsola posited that these conditions are strictly looked into before issuing certificates to churches to operate and conduct marriages, adding that room and parlour churches are not considered for such serious business.
The commissioner as a way of appeal, called on churches conducting marriages illegally and not protected by the cover of the Delta State laws, to apply and come forward for registration.
On the recovered children, the commissioner said a total of 693 applications were received during the period under review out of which 136 children were released from the different approved orphanages to prospective adoptive parents.
She said that in order to sensitize and create awareness among parents on child trafficking, the ministry had produced documentation on the menace of child trafficking to sensitize parents and the general public on the danger of looking for a greener pasture outside the country.
On orphans and vulnerable children, Omatsola said that educational support was given to 300 orphans and vulnerable children, even as she said 300 child headed households were trained in income generating activities in order to have a means of livelihood.
She also disclosed that the number of government approved orphanages had increased from 27 to 32 and that applications for more prospective orphanages were at different stages of processing for approval.
She also revealed that the Ministry received 35 applications from families with multiple births, out of which 18 families have benefited while the remaining 17 applications already processed are expected to benefit this year.