The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola on Monday signed the Cremation Bill into law, allowing residents to burn their dead if they so wish.
The new law also empowers medical practitioners, with government approval, to cremate abandoned and unclaimed corpses after a reasonable period of time has been given as notice.
Mr Fashola said the law was enacted to provide more choices in a growing global state and accommodate the different beliefs of residents.
“The law tells a story of the full consciousness of how global our state has become; people migrate here, build homes here, set up businesses here.
“And if some people think, cremation is the best way to do what they want to do, I think, we should also as a global city, I think we should provide that choice as it is done in all other global cities of the world,” he said.
Mr Fashola said the cremation was voluntary for only those who might want to use that service, pointing out that people still had the liberty to bury their loved ones any other ways they preferred.
The Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeola Ipaye said residents still had to meet certain conditions before they could be allowed to cremate.
According to him, the act must be performed in a licensed crematorium after the deceased must have indicated in his will that he would prefer such.
”In the case where the deceased did not specify this, family members not below the age of 18 years must have applied to the appropriate authorities with a death certificate ascertaining the cause of death before approval could be granted,” Mr Ipaye added.
He said medical practitioners should give enough notice before unclaimed corpses could be cremated, adding that the ashes should be kept for at least 14 days before disposal.
The commissioner said the law did not conflict with the anyone`s religious belief, as it did not make cremation compulsory.
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