COVID-19 disrupts marriages at Lagos registry

Investigations have revealed that some cancellations of marriages at the Igando Marriage Registry in Ikotun, Lagos, has been blamed on Coronavirus lockdown.

Unlike 2019, when the Igando-Ikotun Local Government Council Development Area (LCDA) recorded no fewer than 170 marriages, 2020 has records of 95, a drop as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the clerks at the registry who pleaded anonymity during an interview said that a lot of intending couples cancelled their engagement shortly after the lockdown was eased.

“Up till last week, a guy still came to collect his passport that he was no longer interested, this is someone that ought to have been married since April.

“Some don’t even bother to show up, even though this is probably the most affordable form of marriage, but as typical Nigerians, some still go overboard with it.

“Finance might also be a constraint.

“COVID-19 lockdown really slowed things down, which may be a blessing in disguise for some couples, because it afforded them more time to reappraise their partners.

“With the financial difficulty that came with COVID-19, it made people re-evaluate things; I don’t think we can surpass the figure we had last year (2019).

“Although we have people that have registered, unless they show up, we can’t conclude based on those who registered alone,” the clerk said.

A sum of N12,000, two passport photographs, birth certificates and a 21 days’ notice with counselling are the requirements at the Ikotun-Igando registry.

After a confirmed case of COVID-19 was announced Feb. 27, 2020, lockdown took effect from March 30, 2020, but eased May 2020.

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