Nigeria lost at least N9.74 billion in 2016 as a result of multiple public holidays observed during the year. The Guardian’s investigation revealed that in 2016 alone, about 15 national public holidays were observed, excluding others declared in some states.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for the fourth quarter (Q4 2016) showed that 81,151, 885 workers spent 37.38 million hours during the period to contribute N29.29 trillion to the economy at an average productivity rate of N783.51.
Using the same estimates, with the expectation that workers spend an average of eight hours of productivity daily, 15 days of public holidays at N783.51 productivity value, means N9.74 billion, representing 10 per cent of the budgetary allocation in 19 states in 2016 when assessed on individual basis, was lost to the idle periods.
This same amount could deliver a fully equipped teaching hospital to enhance the epileptic tertiary health care system in the country. The Federal Government, on account of too many holidays in the year and the attendant economic losses was forced to make a policy during the military regime of General Sani Abacha prohibiting the shifting of holidays that fell on weekends to week days.
Guardian, 1 August, 2017
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