Nigeria and public holidays
NIGERIA is the only nation in this world that has too many holidays; there are 365 days out of which Saturdays and Sundays take 104 day while Fridays which take 52 days are also partial holidays because work ends in Abuja and so many other cities in Nigeria after prayers on Friday at the mosque, remaining 209 days.
Consequently, only four days out of the seven in a week are full work days. If you then consider the fact that even on Monday’s most people who work for government will just be on their way back to work from weekend and in most cases nothing gets done until they return because they are the bosses, we will have less than four days.
The 209 days remaining are taken over by all sorts of public holidays; we always find a reason to declare holidays and people are always excited when such holidays are declared because Nigerians love a life of ease.
I do not want to even look in the direction of senators and honourable members of the House of Representatives who by the very nature of their assignments should not be seen as full-time politicians. Unfortunately, the government has to continue to bear the burden of looking after these men, some of who, have done nothing else in the last 20 years but stick a hose into the government purse to feed fat on money they have not earned and all these at the expense of the masses. I bet you if government were to remove the perks of those offices, not one of these men should remain there.
The law establishing that arm of government never envisioned it as full time employment and that is why they go on recess to enable them to go back to their respective private callings from time to time and not depend on the government as their source.
This group of people should only be selected from among men who have credible means of livelihood and not full time politicians who are after fame, ease, comfort and power.
They are the very reasons why the brains of most Nigerians have gone on vacation. I am a very practical man and l believe that until our governments put a stop to these incessant, abhorrent holidays that are destroying the very foundations of our economy, whatever effort they are making in revamping this economy will remain futile.
Nations that are serious about building a strong economy do not talk about giving holidays by fiat just to score a political point. Leaders who are dead should be recognized but they should not come from the dead to diminish our work days here on earth.
We must stop setting wrong examples for our children. It is this life of ease and comfort that has been the breeding ground for thieves, robbers and kidnappers in this country.
- Abdulhamid Abdullahi Aliyu,