Why Funerals In Eastern Nigeria Are Expensive

Funerals have become an expensive affair in eastern Nigeria as traditional and religious leaders ask for money before presiding over the ceremony.

Traditional groups demand money to be present at funerals while churches ask for money for services such as the choir to sing.

A traditional ruler told the BBC there was "nothing wrong with the culture" saying all that was needed was consultation when the funeral becomes too expensive.

"It is not a tax, you give respect to the departing," the ruler told the BBC's Olive Ndubuisi.

A pastor said the church understands those who explain their predicament but cautioned that some families wanted elaborate and expensive funerals.

"Most of these things is the fault of family members because even when you don't want to tax them they go out of hand to do things elaborately," the pastor says.

Unlike the majority Islamic north, the predominantly Christian region in the east often experience difficulties in burying their dead.