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EXTRA: Lagosians should get free pass to heaven for battling traffic, says el-Rufai

Ayodele Oluwafemi

Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, says persons who have resided in Lagos for 20 years should be given “free pass to heaven” for their experience with traffic congestion.

El-Rufai spoke on Thursday during a media briefing organised by the presidential communications team in Abuja.

Responding to a question on why he adopted the four-day working week in Kaduna, the governor said the policy will allow residents in the public sector to have enough time to rest and time for their families.

The Kaduna governor said workers are productive on Mondays when they have got enough rest, adding that Kaduna residents are happy with the policy.


El-Rufai said he wonders how residents of Lagos survive traffic congestion, saying he does not know if Saturdays and Sundays will be enough for Lagos residents to rest.

“The benefits are that people rest more; they have more family time; they have more leisure time and they spend more money. It is better for the economy,” he said.

“For those that are interested in doing side businesses like farming, you have more time. The challenges that we face, which we have resolved as far as the public service is concerned, is what is the impact on education.


“But we found out it was the easiest because schools have classes up to 12pm anyway on Fridays — it is four hours. So, we just increased Mondays to Thursdays by one hour each so we cover that.

“The health sector was the easiest because the health sector always operates a shift system — 36 hours a week. Where we have challenges is with the private sector because of over-time. Now, if you work on Fridays, it is extra pay because it is over-time.

“We have not imposed it on the private sector yet. We are discussing with them to have a transition period of two to three years, but certainly in the public sector, we have resolved all the issues. We are drafting the regulations to gazette them.

“When people rest more, they are more productive when they come on Monday. They do much more work. Most people are tired on Thursdays anyway; let’s be realistic.

“I don’t know how people in Lagos survive. Everyday, four hours in traffic for five days. I don’t know if Saturdays and Sundays are enough for them to rest.

“That is why I feel that all those that have lived in Lagos for 20 years should just go straight to heaven because they have already lived in hell. Honestly, they have paid their dues so they should just be given free pass.”

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