According to business experts analysis, Nigeria lost about N1.12 trillion ($4 billion) of her total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the additional one-day holiday declared by the Federal Government to mark the Eid-el-Fitr holiday.
After earlier declaring Tuesday and Wednesday as public holidays to mark the Muslim festival, the Federal Government extended the holidays to Thursday because the moon was not sighted as at Tuesday.
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Commenting on this development, frontline economist and Managing Director of Financial Derivatives Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, put the estimated cost of the additional holiday at 1.5 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP.
He, however, noted that the one day extension cannot be regarded as a total shut down of Nigeria’s economy, stressing that it is assumed that half of the working class would work today.
Currently, the nation’s GDP is $500 billion and it represents 0.79 per cent of the world economy.
The GDP, which measures of national income and output for a given country’s economy, is equal to the total expenditures for all final goods and services produced within the country in a stipulated period of time.
Members of the Nigeria’s Organised Private Sector, OPS, had earlier warned that the country’s propensity for long holidays at every opportunity is harming Nigeria’s economy and businesses.
According to OPS, the losses suffered from prolonged public holidays are made even worse by infrastructure deficiencies, manpower shortfalls and intermittent strikes among others.
OPS which berated the Federal Government for extending the public holiday, said that the banking, manufacturing, Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs), shipping, construction and service sectors were the biggest losers.
The Managing Director, Crane Securities Limited, Mr. Mike Eze, also noted that the stock market, which is the bastion of the economy, was also affected negatively by the additional holiday, which according to him, was not necessary at this period Nigeria is facing major economic setbacks.