Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has stated that those who have lived in Lagos for 20 years have already lived in hell due to daily traffic congestion.
The Governor made the comment at a ministerial press briefing in Abuja while explaining the rationale for introducing the four-day working week in Kaduna State.
“I don’t know how people in Lagos survive. Every day, four hours in traffic for five days,” El-Rufai said. “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 a free pass.”
The Lagos Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said “the daily influx of people” has contributed to the considerable human and vehicular pressure on the roads but stated that the “government will surely surmount the challenges with technology and enforcement of traffic rules.”
The 2018 Global Liveability Index published by The Economist Intelligence Unit and World Bank said Lagos State was the third worst city for humans to live in the world.
Three years later, Lagos was ranked the second most stressful city in the world for the year 2021 in a study conducted by Vaay, a German firm that identified traffic as a significant cause of stress for residents.
According to El-Rufai, more rest for state workers would help them be more productive at their workplaces.
“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.”
While explaining further about the benefits of the four-day working week, El-Rufai said, “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.”
El-Rufai approved four workdays per week for workers employed by the Kaduna State Government in November 2021.
The Kaduna governor said it would help boost productivity, improve work-life balance, and spend more time with their families.
El-Rufai, in a statement by his media aide Muyiwa Adekeye said the state government would begin implementing the transitional arrangement in the public service starting from December 1, 2021.
He said as from December, working hours for public servants would commence from 8:00 a.m to 5:00p.m Mondays to Fridays.
The governor added that all public servants, other than those in schools and healthcare facilities, would work from home on Fridays.
He explained that the interim working arrangement would exist until the government was ready to move to the next stage of the transition, culminating in the four-day working week in all ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) in the state.