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RFP: Maternity/Paternity Entitlements, Workplace Lactation Policies and Knowledge Gaps to Support Breastfeeding in Nigeria

Issued on:   January 26, 2018

For: Assessment of Maternity/ Paternity Entitlements, Workplace Lactation Policies and Knowledge Gaps to Support Breastfeeding in Nigeria

Estimated Period of Performance:  March 26, 2018 – June 25, 2018

Application Deadline:   February 23, 2018

Maximum amount of contract: NGN 38,000,000.



Maternity/ Paternity leave and Workplace Lactation Policies to Support Breastfeeding in Nigeria

A mother’s return to work can be a critical barrier to maintaining breastfeeding.  Her ability to continue breastfeeding is reduced if lactation breaks and facilities for pumping or storing breastmilk are unavailable, and infant care near her workplace is inaccessible or unaffordable.

The International Labor Organization’s Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No. 183) and its accompanying Recommendation (No. 191) call for the establishment of an integrated set of essential measures to help initiate, establish, and maintain optimal breastfeeding practices:

  • Maternity leave for at least 18 weeks with full pay;
  • Prenatal, childbirth, and postnatal health care for both the mother and her child, and cash 
benefits for women who do not qualify for social insurance;
  • Protection for a pregnant or nursing worker from engaging in work which could be detrimental to her health or that of her child;
  • The right to return to the same or similar paid position at the same salary rate;
  • Protection from discrimination at work;
  • The right to one or more daily breaks or a reduction in working time.

In 1990, the Nigerian Labor Law was passed granting new mothers in the formal workforce the right to up to 12 weeks of maternity leave at 50 percent pay. Then in 2009, the law was augmented to offer women in Government or private sector employment up to 12 weeks’ maternity leave with full pay irrespective of their status and the number of babies previously delivered.  However, the Nigerian Labor Act currently does not recognize paternity leave and makes no such provisions. Employers in the private sector are currently permitted to formulate their own policies around maternity leave.

Additionally, government increased maternity leave for female federal public servants to 16 weeks with full pay. Following in 2014, the Lagos State Government extended maternity leave for its public-sector female employees to 26 weeks with full pay for the delivery of their first two children and public-sector male employees are entitled to 10 days’ paternity leave within the first 8 weeks of the birth of their first two children. For third and subsequent deliveries in Lagos state, maternity leave reverts to the traditional 12 weeks – six weeks before and six weeks after delivery.  Many states in the country have diverse regulations relating to maternity/paternity entitlements and little is known about the trends and attitudes towards maternity/ paternity leave within the private sector.

The Nigerian government authorities at national and state levels have requested assistance to support them with this assessment. Following the successful launch of the Lancet Series on Breastfeeding in Nigeria in June 2016, the Federal Ministers of Health (FMOH), Labor and Productivity, and Budget and National Planning committed to support the establishment of policies that support women to breastfeed for 6 months. The Minister of Labor also hinted that even where ILO has expanded the provision to include 18 weeks, this provision has not been ratified by the government of Nigeria.

The FMOH and its partners, UNICEF and Alive &Thrive seeks to catalogue current policies and programs, and conduct an assessment of trends and attitudes (including gaps) towards maternity leave and workplace lactation policies such as breastfeeding/lactation spaces with workers’ union administrators, employers, and employees in the public and private sector.  The assessment will also identify social protection platforms for pregnant and lactating women, especially those in the informal sector/rural areas. The assessment will include secondary analysis and review of existing government records, documents, surveys, and materials on maternity entitlements in each state and at the Federal level.  It is expected that direct feedback will then be obtained from employers and employees through in-depth interviews and stakeholder meetings in selected sites to obtain a deeper understanding of how the current policies and programs are working. Recommendations on areas of further strengthening of maternity entitlements are expected to be developed based on the analysis.


This assessment aims to qualitatively analyze current policies and programs for protecting and supporting breastfeeding among working mothers in Nigeria.  Its purpose is to fill critical knowledge gaps with government policy makers at national and states levels and organizations in the private sector in the range of measures being currently taken for maternity entitlements and implementation of policies. The outcome will be used for advocacy and inform better government, private sector and civil society response to improve maternity entitlements and support baby-friendly workplaces in Nigeria. The outcomes of the survey will also be shared in a dissemination meeting, a webinar, a journal article to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, Short briefs and fact sheet.  Actual dissemination will be among parliamentarians at national and states levels as well as private sector employers’ associations to motivate policymakers, opinion leaders and private sector organizations to create a supportive environment for strengthening implementation of current maternity entitlements and developing a stronger policy, including extending the duration of paid leave, provision of breastfeeding spaces in the work place and public spaces.

To achieve the above goals, the FMOH and its partners UNICEF and A&T Nigeria seek a qualified research firm to conduct the assessment on Maternity/ Paternity Entitlements and Workplace Lactation Policies to Support Breastfeeding in Nigeria.

The main objectives, key tasks, interview sites, timeline, expected deliverables and other details of the assessment are noted in the full RFP.


Responses to this RFP should be submitted by email to the attention of Ms. Patience Kwada, Contract and Procurement Manager at; not later than February 23rd, 2018 at 5 p.m. (Nigeria time). Offers received after this date and time will not be accepted for consideration. FHI 360 will acknowledge receipt of your proposal by email. Proposals must be submitted in electronic format.

Any questions or requests for clarification need to be submitted in writing to the same email address noted above by February 10th, 2018 at 5p.m. (Nigeria time). Answers will be posted publicly on the website. No telephone inquiries will be answered.

All email correspondence should reference “UNICEF/A&T Nigeria: Maternity/ Paternity Entitlement RFP” in the subject line.


FHI 360 anticipates issuing a firm fixed-price purchase order. The purchase order is anticipated to be issued in local currency (NGN) to the responsive offer that is selected on a best value basis, contingent on final scope of work and budget negotiations with the selected offeror. Once an award is issued, it will include a schedule of fixed price payments based on completion of deliverables in the scope of work. If the activities are funded, as anticipated by different donors, multiple agreements may be issued.

For the full Request for Proposals and Budget Template, please click on the links. 

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