Nigeria Can’t Grow Economy Observing Frivolous Public Holidays, Says Aremu

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Hammed Shittu in Ilorin

A trade unionist and a member of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Issa Aremu, has faulted the recent Eid-el Fitr holiday extended by the federal government.

He said Nigeria cannot grow her economy and come out of poverty if institutions of government continues to compel workers to observe “frivolous public holidays” when even developed nations of the world were at work.

Aremu, who was also a former vice president of the NLC, stated this in his Sallah message to Nigerians issued in Ilorin on Thursday.‎

Minister of Interior, General AbdulRahman Dambazau (rtd.) had declared Tuesday and Wednesday as public holidays to mark the Eid-el-Fitri but later extended it to Thursday when sallah was not celebrated on Tuesday.

But the labour leader described it as one “off-day too many for a country that is far behind in the global productivity/competitiveness index”.

Aremu said, “The key to the nation’s economic recovery is increased productivity and the antidote against poverty is work”.

The labour leader stated: “The effort of President Buhari administration to revive domestic industries and attract foreign direct investment will be undermined if existing local industries are forced to close down for almost one week on account of religious festivity”.

“With only 48 working hours a week, almost 120 days rest days (inclusive of Saturdays and Sundays) in a year, Nigeria has the highest number of public holidays in the world compared to Malaysia, China and Indonesia which work 52 hours -7 days a week”, he said.

Further details later