The Kaduna State government today announced that it will start transitioning to a four-day working week, from Dec. 1, 2021, to encourage agriculture, amongst other reasons.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Muyiwa Adekeye, the Special Adviser to Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Media and Communication.
Apart from agriculture, the measure is also designed to improve work-life balance, strengthen family relationships, give more time for rest and general productivity.
“From Dec. 1, 2021, working hours for public servants will be from 8 a.m. (WAT) to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.”
According to the statement, “all public servants, other than those in schools and healthcare facilities, will work from home on Fridays. This interim working arrangement will subsist until the government is ready to move to the next stage of the transition which will culminate in the four-day week across all MDAs in the state.”
“Senior officials are working on detailed guidelines to ensure that the emergency services and the education and health systems in the state continue to deliver services 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the transition and beyond. The government will also ramp up its efforts to give public servants access to digital devices and platforms to enable them work effectively from home. Given the significant investments the state government is making in ICT, it will ensure that most of its automated services deliver the levels of performance required to give citizens seamless access.”
“The state government expects the required legal and regulatory framework to be in place by January 2022. This will also enable the organised private sector to engage with the process and agree to a longer transition period to a four-day working week.”
Kaduna State at the moment battles insecurity which threatens the activities of farmers. “Maize, guinea corn, rice, wheat, groundnut, sugar cane, yam, cassava, soya beans, okra, beans, tomato, pepper among others, including vegetables produced in the area for local consumption and commercial purposes, but the security challenges seem to have posed a big threat to farming activities in the area.”
A HumAngle report published in 2020 showed how hundreds of farming communities are affected by protracted conflict in Southern Kaduna. In this part of the state, “Harvests have drastically declined over the years due to high insecurity especially at the outskirts of the communities during the cropping and harvest seasons. Farmers fear that if they visit their farmlands, they will be killed, maimed, or kidnapped for ransom.”
Farming communities such as Kakau Daji in Chikun LGA have suffered from terror attacks for years. In 2021 alone, residents of Kafari, also in Chikun, told HumAngle they have been attacked thrice by terrorists who kidnap for ransom. Currently, locals sneak into the village by day to prepare their farm produce
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