For Lagosians who desire to cremate corpses of their loved one, the Lagos State Government has granted their wish.
The state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Monday signed the Cremation Bill into law at a ceremony which took place at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Governor explained that cremation was voluntary, noting that the enactment of the Bill and subsequent signing into law showed how the concept of globalisation had taken root in the state.
Fashola said, “We commend members of the state House of Assembly for responding to global yearnings. Their zeal in passing the bill also shows that cremation is the best way to go.”
The state Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Mr. Ade Ipaye, said the law only provided for voluntary cremation.
He said, “It is voluntary in the sense that it allows for voluntary cremation, whereby a person may signify interest to be cremated when he dies or a deceased’s family members who must attain the age of 18 years can decide to have the corpse cremated.
“The law also makes it legal for the government to cremate unclaimed corpses in its mortuaries after a period of time.”
Ipaye warned that if relative of any corpse failed to show up to collect the ashes after a 14-day notice, it would be disposed of by the state government subject to the consent and approval of the state Commissioner for Health.
He said, “Section Two stipulates that no cremation may take place except in a crematorium established by the state Ministry of Health or by any other body upon the recommendation of the authority and approval by the Commissioner for Health.
“Section Six of the law stipulates the guidelines on getting permission to cremate and lists those who could apply for permission to cremate to include a child or children of the deceased; a close relative of the deceased; an undertaker and an agent/legal representative.
“Section 10 of the law states that the cremator in charge of a crematorium must not dispose of the ashes remaining after a cremation except in accordance with any reasonable written instructions of the applicant.”
The Governor also signed the laws establishing Ibile Oil and Gas Company and the one to regulate the Christian and Muslim pilgrims’ welfare board.
He explained that though the state had laws enacted in the 80s to regulate the activities of both Christian and Muslim boards, the government decided to harmonise the amendments to the laws since then to make them uniform and effective.