The Anambra State House of Assembly has moved to propose a law seeking to regulate burial rites to curb excessive spending.
The House Committee on Information, Culture and Tourism organized a public hearing in Awka yesterday to get the input of the people before arriving at a decision on the proposed law.
Speaking during the hearing, Chairman of the occasion, Charles Ezeani (PDP), representing Anaocha 2 constituency, who initiated the bill, said it was imperative to draw a line between “mourning” the dead and a “fiesta.”
Ezeani said burial rites constituted 60 to 70 per cent of socio-cultural activities in the state, where the wealthy showcase their economic might.
He said the bill seeks to curtail outrageous demands on families of deceased by traditions and customs enforced by elders, without any consideration for financial capability.
He said the trend also created room for unhealthy competition among families and friends, each trying by every means, to outshine the other.
“This unacceptable behaviour has informed the need for a law to control burial ceremonies and other related matters.
“The aim is to cut down drastically, the cost of burial and the manner burial activities in the state are organised.
“The aim of this bill is to encourage the celebration of people when they are alive,’’ he explained.
The lawmaker said the bill, which outlined cost-cutting measures, revenue generation for the state, guidelines on duration, ways and manner burials should be organised, had passed its second reading in the House.
Speaker of the House, Rita Maduagwu, said the aim of the bill was to help people feel less pain when they are bereaved, not to incur debts after the loss of their loved ones.