Holidaying While Rome Burns? By Reno Omokri | Welcome to Linda Ikeji's Blog

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Saturday, 9 July 2016

Holidaying While Rome Burns? By Reno Omokri

This is a write-up by Reno Omokri. Please continue reading...
For a nation that has already had one quarter of negative economic growth and is in danger of having another negative quarter (which would invariably put us officially in a recession), I was shocked, like many right thinking people, when the Federal Government extended the Eid-el-Fitr holidays which had initially been declared for Tuesday the 5th and Wednesday the 6th of July, 2016 to now include Thursday the 7th of July.

This record three day holiday effectively rendered the week beginning on Sunday July 3rd, 2016, a wasted week because Nigerians would naturally spend Monday the 4th preparing for the holiday and no right thinking person would expect any serious business to hold on Friday the 8th after the whole nation had been on holiday for the three days prior to that.

The economic implication of this decision is that when the Gross Domestic production of the third quarter of 2016 is being calculated, Nigeria would not be able to count on any meaningful production for one business week.

Flowing from the above, no one needs a crystal ball to predict that Nigeria is headed for another round of negative economic growth when the next quarterly GDP data is unveiled.

Yet this is the same country where 18,000 babies are born everyday and it is doubtful that up to 1,800 new jobs are created everyday. With this grim statistic, no one around the President thought it wise to advise him against making the small percentage of Nigerians who are employed to be underemployed by at least one week because of a holiday. 

Is it that we do not understand the economic implications of our actions and how they effect the financial and economic well being of our nation?

Nigeria should be doing everything it can to ensure that it does not have consecutive periods of negative economic growth for the simple reason that having an economy in recession would lead to our economy being further downgraded. The implication of a downgraded economy is that we will not be able to attract the level of Foreign Direct Investment we need to drive growth. Further implications are that we would only be able to access credit at higher interest rates. The resultant effect of that would be loss of value in our stock exchange and a downward pressure on the value of the Naira (further devaluation) and when that happens, it would mean more people out of work and a worsening of Nigeria's Human Development Index. 

The question is this-aren't there people around President Muhammadu Buhari who can explain this to him? Should Nigeria be holidaying while Rome burns? 

The United States has eleven federal holidays while England has eight holidays (known as Bank Holiday). In contrast, Nigeria's holidays are discretionary, meaning that you cannot ascertain how many days would be holidays. Holidays can be declared at the whims and caprices of the government in power, as has just been demonstrated, such that as at the first week of July when we should be entering only the second half of the year 2016, Nigeria has already had 8 public holidays which is equal to the number of holidays England would have throughout the year 2016!

We had a holiday on January 1st for New Year's Day. We had two days holidays on Friday, March 25 and Monday, March 28 for Good Friday and Easter. We had another holiday on May 2nd for May Day (workers day) and we had a holiday on May 30th to mark Democracy Day. And now we have just had a three day holiday.

Is it then any surprise that Nigeria's production is seriously below par? If you quantify the lost man hours that have been frittered away in these unnecessarily long holidays we would be talking hundreds of billions. How do I know? It is simple mathematics really.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria's Gross Domestic Product for the first quarter of 2016 stood at ₦22.26 trillion Naira. This means we averaged a daily GDP of ₦245 billion (when you divide ₦22.26 trillion Naira by the 90 days in an average quarter). 

In today's Naira, ₦245 billion is $867 million dollars. In essence, for every holiday Nigeria observes, we lose almost a billion dollars or to be more exact $867 million! 

This is a lot of money for a country that borrows to pay the salaries of its civil servants and is still sourcing for loans to finance its 2016 budget when we are already passed the middle of the year.

The other day, the Federal Government called for prayers for the precarious state of the economy and now the same government that wants divine intervention to help rescue the economy is itself taking actions that are at cross purposes with its own prayers. What is happening in Nigeria? 

Eid-el-Fitr is an Islamic holiday. Though I am a Christian pastor, I have read the Quran. It says as follows in Quran, 4:29 'O ye who believe! Do not squander one another’s wealth in vanities, but let there be amongst you traffic and trade by mutual good will.'

As a matter of fact, in one of the hadiths of the prophet, he was asked a question about what type of earning was best for a man and he responded 'a man’s work with his hands and every (lawful) business transaction.”

Are we then good Muslims if we ignore these ecclesiastical commandments and directions in order that we may holiday and play when we ought to be at work?

Nigeria can not afford the luxury of what we have just done. If anything at all, we should not have more than one day to observe either a Christian or Muslim holiday.

If tomorrow the Naira depreciates in value, the government would blame economic sabotage, the previous administration or the slump in the price of oil and all the usual suspects. Hardly remembered will be the time when Nigeria holidayed while Rome was burning. 

Religion is not a license for laziness. Quite the contrary. Religion is the means by which man, by careful observance of the rules given us by God, lives a life that ensures his physical and spiritual wellbeing.

That is the part we forgot when either missionaries or conquerors brought the two great Abrahamic faiths to Nigeria.


May God help us all.

38 comments:

Peter Dumore said...

Just Observing


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Anonymous said...

Excellent piece. Buhari is an uneducated opportunist.

vinna saviour said...

Nice piece by Reno

LIB REP (中华人民共和国) said...

I see how jobless and less busy is this guy Reno

Anonymous said...

Holiday is one thing.

What about all the man hours lost to fuel scarcities and the attendant queues at filling stations? Strikes? And so on.

We have ministers that don't understand what they are ministering.

If you run your own business to feed your family, you'd know that you cannot waste a whole one week to holidaying.

But again, when your preference is a man that should have retired from active service, who should really be in this home playing with his grand children, you know you need to give him 10 days to treat his ENT issues and 3 days holidays to break his fast and who knows what other breaks he'd need before the year ends?

Amaka Nwabufo said...

Amen oooo..... Nigeria sure do need plenty help!Nice piece Reno! U're the kind of people we need in governance, peope that thinks out side the box. Thumbs up Sir!

okechukwu nnoduechi said...

GOOD TO SEE






AUNTY LINDA 👩

Zitel Coconut oil Onitsha 08081725441 said...

Nsogbu

Anonymous said...

Oga reno I agree with you 100 percent
Nigeria wastes a lot of productive time in the name of public holidays
@lib rep I am sure you are a civil servant because if you had your own business you will not close it for 3 days.
Even the Muslims whom the holidays were declared for opened their factories half day on Wednesday and full days on Tuesday and Thursday so what are we talking about
The lazy man hides behind public holidays. Me sha open my own store na bread I dey make
Reno ride on abi I no go chop again

RareSpecie Z said...

Well said.
Bt u still an Idiot though.

Vivian Reginalds said...

Yeye
-D great anonymous now as Vivian Reginalds

Yusuf habeeb said...

What do u think Jonathan would av done.. U be wailing waiver true true

Anonymous said...

Nice write-up....catch up with best of latest songs and health tips on 9jastreet.com

chiamogu ijeoma said...

Naija hmmm

Anonymous said...

wailing reno okro,,even when you and your ogogoro drinking boss did declare public holiday what did you achieve,,your govt was filled wit corruption and impunity

Grace Elechi said...

#My Linda My Linda
Well Reno is making sense..

Anonymous said...

I'm January we had 2 holidays. D new year and the first Muslim holiday.

Anonymous said...

Thanks i was really mad when i heard of that hoilday extension i reality wish ffk was here too.

Bashir Danlami said...

Linda. You and cohort can't stop buhari govt

Sharon said...


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Juliet Iwuno said...

Abeg go and sit down stop wiping up conflicts. Linda take note!

Jamila Shaibu said...

Hian!!

Saphire Muna said...

Did u read the write_up?? If no, then Shut up and read it first.... U only rush to comment without reading.... Calling someone who is writing valuable observation about your country economy jobless and less busy.... Someone who spent 18hrs out of his 24hrs on blogs is calling someone who talks and millions listen jobless.... Let me leave it like that first

Now to the write_up proper... Reno couldn't have say it better... Why did US embassy open for work on Thursday additional holiday.? Because they knw the value of time and what a day can cause them... Buhari is jst bn lazy... Or will I say the suffering of the masses didn't really concern him.... He is comfortable with his family, what else.. His wife is going around dashing money in millions.. Rain makers.... God is not asleep... God bless Nigeria








....... Liber maniac.....

Joyous babe,Linda ikeji first cousin said...

Well said,all these happen when u have an illiterate President, anyway na change.

Anonymous said...

Abeg Park well this blabber mouth 👄! Did your master GEJ reduce the public holiday I'm your time? Aside d one extra day added what else changed? Busy body! Expired parrot!

mrs A said...

Go to school. This platform will teach u less especially with this your mind frame.

I. C. Ukwuegbu said...

When we are not on holiday what do we really do in the offices or our duty posts? Go to work places and see the level of lascitude. Let the holiday continue jo.

Niyi Anifowose said...

Well said Reno.Since part of what divide us is religion, the drive to show a superiority of one over the other is the motive around the extention of the holiday.Those close to the President are only manipulating him to achieve thier hidden agendas.May God help this nation.

CHINASA AJAEROH said...

Except for the additional One (1) day which I also frown at, we were having the same holidays every year when your principal was in power. I wonder why you did not advise him then.

Anonymous said...

Afi abrahamic faith na ! Lol

APPLE said...

Very senseless holiday. Mtcheeew. Reno well said.

Anon said...

When will Nigerian Youths begin to act like educated pple? & let go all these sentiments...these holidays don't help nobody in dis dry economy

Oloriegbe Mukhtar said...

You all in support of the write must all be drop out and bias xtian, so na d govt de fix date for holidays? If so let's wait till Xmas and see if that madman reno will come out with and senseless holiday write.

Jepthah Afolabi said...

awsome

Ejizy David said...

@Reno pls channel your #noise to action! All u do is complain, who your complaints epp?

Anonymous said...

Buhari, your mallam eye don see new moon? Check the eye for cattaracts so that we do not spend another week looking for moon. Also, check for smog. Smog can prevent the moon from being visible. But that na sophisticated gist na....wetin be smog abi? I even wan suggest using NASA but you no go know since you never even begin use GPS track all ya cows for Daura. Nigeria, we hail thee.

Ele Blessing said...

Amen

Eze-Udemba Zuma said...

Thank you Reno. Let me remind you that one of the major differences between Developed and Under-developed countries is the attitude of their respective citizens' to hard work predicated on the indices of their respective Achievement Motivation. While citizens of the developed countries have High Achievement Motivation and so see hard work as mandatory, those of the under-developed countries have Low Achievement Motivation and so see hard work as unnecessary burden because "Allah Inana". This scenario plays out among the ethnic groups in Nigeria. They have congenital Low Achievement Motivation, High Consumption Propensity and Mendicant Sub-consciousness. Consequently they abhors any type of work. That is why Nigeria is so decadent.

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