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
“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
”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.