The Imo State Government yesterday revoked the certificates of all motherless babies and foster homes in the state following increasing cases of such homes being found out to be ran as ‘baby factories’.
Announcing this yesterday, in Owerri, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Nma Onyechere, said that buying and selling of human beings were not part of the Igbo culture, adding that the heat generated over the issue was enough to get government to react to the ugly situation.
Onyechere also warned that any staff of the ministry found to have established such homes would be summarily dismissed from service.
Onyechere, who noted that the issue of ‘baby factories’ or sale of babies had turned into a national problem, said the problem must be tackled urgently.
“Government has revoked the certificates of all foster homes in the state with immediate effect. Similarly, any staff found to be operating any such establishment or in the habit of aiding or abetting ‘baby factories’, would be summarily dismissed from service,” she said.
“As at the last count, only 36 homes were registered in the state. Our interest in the re-certification exercise is to save lives and preserve the corporate image of the state.”
The commissioner said further that the issue of ‘baby factories’ had done serious damage to the image of the state, hence the government’s decision to tackle it frontally.
“In line with the current revocation of the certificates, government has planned fresh re-registration and re-certification of all such homes. Anybody or group of persons found to have defied this policy will be arrested and prosecuted,” the commissioner said.