When you are not working, you are “playing”. Nigerians would appear to spend more time (unintentionally) “playing” than doing actual useful work. We can generally do better at our level of productivity. While Nigerians are some of the hardest working and inventive humans on earth, the results do not reflect that fact due to the multifarious impedance within the operating environment.

In physics, work done is assessed by measurable results. In real life, what you achieve (your life report card) is more important than the effort you put in. Consequently, nationally, the total productivity is intimately linked to the available number of working hours, and time actually spent doing useful work.

It is often said that it not “how long”, but “how smart” you work, but then if C works ten hours, six days a week, and X is able to put in just seven hours in a week, then, all other things held constant, C would achieve more than X.

photo courtesy -

photo courtesy –

Nigeria has too many holidays.  Many of these are for frivolous reasons and do nothing in advancing our national goals and aspirations. Coupled with the inauspicious operating environment, it is no wonder that we have not moved ahead at the pace that we should as a nation. In climes where the level of automation is higher, people can get away with putting in few numbers of work. But with our dilapidated electricity supply and other vital infrastructure, every hour literally counts.

People spend insane numbers of wasteful hours in traffic in the metropolis, get home to find that there is no electricity, have to hustle for fuel to put in their cars and generators.  All these cut into the hours left to be productive. If you leave home for work very early to beat traffic, come back very late, fagged out, day in, day out,  that certainly detracts from your efficiency as a person. A tired man is an inefficient man.

If you compound the lost productivity hours with the numerous frivolous amounts of national holidays, that exacerbates the non productivity problem we have as Nigerians.
The Occidental (Westerners). generally work from 8am to 5pm while the Orientals generally work far longer (some actually work from 5am to 8pm). The Japanese are suffering a population reduction because they are so busy working they don’t have time to procreate! Coupled with better public infrastructure,  the effective hours available for productive work is simply more the  advanced climes .. hence their higher rate of comparative developmental pace.

It may do us well as a people to spend our time more productively because many things (beyond our direct control) eat into the daily available productive hours.

Government would also do well to take a look at improving citizen productivity by sharing the declaration of excessive unnecessary holidays,  and frontally tackle the infrastructure deficits impeding general productivity.

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