The federal government’s policy, which allows male officers to take time off work to bond with and care for a new baby or a newly adopted child, has now been fully implemented at the State House. This initiative, originally announced in a circular dated November 25, 2022, by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, is in alignment with the provisions of the Public Service Rules, 2021 Edition.
As per the circular issued almost a year ago, paternity leave is now available to male officers whose spouses have recently given birth. This leave period spans 14 working days and can be availed once every two years for a maximum of four children. Additionally, if a male officer’s family adopts a child under four months old, they will also be entitled to a paternity leave of 14 working days.
Speaking at an event called “Baby Show” at the State House Medical Centre, a consultant paediatrician at the Medical Centre, Dr Maryam Keshinro, confirmed implementing the paternity leave policy among federal civil servants at the Presidential Villa. The event was aimed at promoting infant and maternal health through exclusive and extended breastfeeding.
Dr Keshinro emphasised the importance of paternity leave in recognising fathers’ crucial role in their children’s lives from the very beginning. It encourages greater involvement of fathers in caregiving responsibilities, offers essential emotional support, and fosters nurturing bonds with their children.
Furthermore, she highlighted that paternity leave complements existing family-friendly government initiatives, such as providing workplace crèches and extending maternity leave for working mothers to six months. The State House Medical Centre, which received its designation as a baby-friendly centre in 1997, has consistently promoted breastfeeding through various programmes and initiatives, including the establishment of workplace crèches and lactation facilities.
In line with the theme of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week, “Make Breastfeeding and Work, Work,” the Head of the Nursing Department at the State House Medical Centre, Thompson-Olatigbe Taiwo, emphasised the importance of enabling nursing mothers to work effectively and efficiently while continuing to breastfeed their infants. She expressed gratitude to the State House management for providing a functional crèche at the Medical Centre and to the government for enacting maternity protection laws, policies, and regulations that support breastfeeding mothers.
The Baby Show event was attended by working nursing mothers and external individuals registered at the State House Medical Centre, all of whom came together to celebrate breastfeeding with the heartfelt anthem, “In the office, in the market, everywhere and anywhere, I will breastfeed.”