Many of the respondents to the vox pop conducted by our correspondent said they would not hesitate to donate their sperm for cash as long as it is not for ritual purposes but to help couples battling with infertility have children.
Those who said they would not mind making their sperm available for sale included young as well as married men.
Donation of sperm and female eggs to couples and fertility clinics, considered a normal practice in most parts of the western world, had been a discrete practice in Nigeria due to the country’s religious and cultural beliefs.
Only four of the 25 male respondents said they would never engage in such an act with the excuse that it was sinful.
Some of those favourably disposed to it said they would donate their semen based on the condition that they would not be made to know who exactly needs it while others said they were only concerned with the money that would come from the transaction.
“Why won’t I sell mine if I see a possible buyer?” asked Chibuike Nnamdi who sells women’s wares at the Ojuore market, Ota, Ogun state, Southwest Nigeria.
“As long as it is not for the people to use it for rituals, I am ready oh!,” he said.
A resident of Iyana-Iyesi area of the state, who gave his name simply as Michael, said once the money is good, he would sell his semen.
“Most guys these days ease themselves by masturbating and thus wasting fertile sperm seriously needed by married families battling infertility.
“Therefore, rather than for me to continue to waste mine, I am ready to grab any opportunity that comes with selling it.
“I’m just imagining myself masturbating and instead of someone to scold me, he pays me. That’s good enough,” the graduate of Chemistry said.
Mr. Mike, a married man who has two children, simply asked: “bros, where is it done? Where is the hospital? Introduce me and we will share the proceeds.”
Another married man resident in Ikeja who refused to mention his name but said he had four children, said many male Nigerians including him would sell.
Hear him: “it may sound absurd at first for someone to approach you to sell your sperm for that purpose or for you to even realise that you could sell it, but in the end, you will sell.
“Just imagine how many men have kids outside wedlock, the one they call love kids, which they never tell their family but which continue to trouble them all through life.
“Imagine again, how much you would spend just to have extra-marital affairs with a lady or when you are dating her. In this case, rather than for you to be paying, someone is paying you.”
Mr. Sumanu Giwa, a 40-year old businessman in the Lagos Island area of Lagos, said he would sell on the condition that he was not made to know the family that needs the sperm.
“If I have the opportunity to sell to a hospital, I will gladly do it and make some money which would assist my business,” he said.
Sumanu’s friend, Monday, even gave an insight into another form of sperm donation.
According to him, some men battling with infertility and have no money to buy sperm from fertility clinic now pay young healthy and fertile men to sleep with and impregnate their wives.
“There would be an understanding between the man and his wife. Then they would travel very far and look for a man very distant from them who would sleep with the woman for pay,” he said.
He said one of his friends living in Asaba, Delta state now has a child from such mutual and confidential arrangement.
A resident of Agege, Mr. P. A. Ayo, said he would rather see selling of sperm to couples in need as assistance to them.
“Have you not heard of situations where the woman knows that the man cannot impregnate her and she then gets someone outside who dates her and continues to pump children into her womb only for her to bring the pregnancy home to a very excited husband?
“We have such women all over Lagos in case you have not found out. So it is maturity on the part of a man to agree to getting his wife pregnant with another man’s semen,” he explained.
A number of fertility clinics engaging in the purchase of sperm from men have sprung up in Lagos over the years, many of them are located on the Island area of the state.
These clinics, which shroud their operations in secrecy, have sperm banks where they freeze the sperms and keep them alive since it is scientifically proven that the lifespan of sperm is between 48 and 72 hours.
Though they refuse to confirm that they buy sperm, they rather claim that men who give out their sperms are simply donors who get a token as appreciation and encouragement.
P.M.NEWS learnt that this ‘token’ is between N250,000 and N500,000 per release depending on how buoyant the clinic is, but these same clinics make millions of naira selling it to couples.
“Before we allow such sperms, we first carry out all the necessary tests including sexually-transmitted diseases, blood group and genotype.
“Then we extract the sperm by majorly making the person masturbate after which it is frozen,” a staff of one of the clinics told P.M.NEWS, adding that to ensure success, they make sure the woman is fertile enough to carry the pregnancy.
“For women whose eggs are deformed or who have problems, we put them in the right state before fertilisation. We could even get eggs from female donors and implant them in the wombs of these women.
“I believe in miracles, but sometimes when you hear that a woman got pregnant after so many years of marriage, it may be as a result of sperm or egg donation,” the staff disclosed, adding that the clinics continue to monitor and care for the woman throughout her pregnancy period as well as keep the identities of the donors away from couples.