Saturday, August 2, 2014

Fashola Is Wrong- Written By Etcetera

Governor Fashola is one of the most outstanding governors in Nigeria. Unlike some state governors, he should be duly commended for his style of governance, his vision for Lagos State, and achievements. But the recent approval of 10 days paternity leave and six months maternity leave for civil servants of the state has been greeted with mixed sentiments within and outside the state. The paternity leave for instance sounds ridiculous to me each time I think about it. What sounds even more laughable is the state Head of Service telling us that the new leave regime is meant to reduce the stress of the extensive work life of civil servants in the state. Please, since when did we start attributing words like “extensive work” to civil servants in Nigeria? My father was a civil servant, I visited his workplace most times and can categorically say that most Nigerian civil servants don’t do any extensive work.


I was actually smiling thinking I had stumbled on a comedy show on TV, hearing her branding civil servants as workaholics and how the newly approved 10 days paternity leave is needed to boost productivity. Has moving from one restaurant to another leaving empty plates of iyan and efo riro in their wake become stressful all of a sudden? I see these guys almost everyday in their different ministries in Alausa but what I haven’t seen is the same picture of the hardworking soldier ants the government is trying to paint to us. It will be more believable if the state comes clean with us that the paternity leave is basically for faaji. Even a newborn baby would giggle at the thought of a father demanding 10 days of paternity leave to bond with him/her. Seriously, how do you bond with a baby that hasn’t even opened his or her eyes? This is a child that can’t even find the mother’s nipples. What does a man need 10 days paternity leave for? Did he have his placenta or umbilical cord removed? Did they perform caesarean on his pot belly? Did he share in the task of carrying the baby in the womb for nine months? Most male civil servants in the country have grown too fat developing breast as a result of idleness at work. Is this new paternity leave regime meant for them to stay at home and share in the responsibility of breastfeeding their newborn babies with their wives? Or are we granting them the additional 10 days paternity leave to also develop hips and complete the full circle of womanhood? This may sound funny but won’t this paternity law increase the rate of childbirth in the state, especially in a rainy season?

Our civil servants are not given to doing much work in the first place. Most times they are never even at work. I went to one of the ministries to see the permanent secretary about a project I was working on that needed state’s approval, and on entering his office, I was stunned by the sight of 15 large booli (roasted plantains) and two full bottles of peanuts on his table. He almost threw me out of his office when I jokingly asked if I could join in his lunch. In Nigeria, we already have so many public holidays, pilgrimages and the three weeks compulsory leave for workers, and weekends. Is that how we are going to build Lagos into a mega city? I don’t see the rationale in this new maternity and paternity policy.

Some say it is a policy that is already being implemented in more advanced societies and we should follow suit without taking into consideration the peculiarity of this terrain. Yes in more advanced countries, extended maternity leaves and paternity leaves are no big deal. The UK for instance grants as much as one year to a woman, to raise her child, with full salary, if she thinks it is necessary. And a man can take either 10 days or up to six months to stay with his wife and child. But we also know why this is very necessary for them. Unlike Nigeria, no UK grandparent will come to do omugwo or stay with a couple and help them take care of their children like a slave for anything more than a week or two. Because most of these parents and grandparents are still busy chasing blind dates or searching for love on various online dating sites. Unlike Nigeria, in the UK there are no house-girls or house-boys who could be used like workhorses around the house for next to nothing. Also unlike Nigeria, UK men don’t take it as a duty to act on God’s commandment on procreation with every giving opportunity like some naija men.

Those applauding the six months maternity leave for women as a well thought out decision, should also consider that it may not be in the interest of everyone. Workers of private institutions may demand implementation of the same policy across board. And most private institutions can’t afford such luxury. Some civil servants may even see it as a threat to their livelihood and survival. The girls with the Lagos State Inland Revenue (LIRS) for instance won’t fancy sitting back at home for six months knowing how much of egunje (kickbacks) they will be missing. The female LASTMA officials will be wondering how they will survive for that long on their meagre salaries. Another question is, what happens to those ministries with fewer members of staff? What if a couple of them got pregnant at the same time? Will they be granted six months maternity leave all at once? What about their skills when they return from such a long leave? Won’t it affect their ability to carry on and adapt to new policies? Will they be provided with extra courses to catch up with their colleagues? I think three months is okay for a nursing mother.

We also have to consider that salaries will be paid. Is the government going to slash salaries to cover up the inadequacies? Are we also bearing in mind that this policy may affect the already plunging productivity level of workers? Are we not creating more room for laxity? It is only in Naija that a female civil servant goes to work wearing a wig and returns home with braids. Isn’t that African magic? Please never walk into a female civil servant’s office unannounced, because you will surely bump into her trying on a new attire sold to her by a colleague in the office. When you walk into some ministries, you will be left confused thinking you have mistakenly walked into Aswani market, seeing people loitering about selling all sorts of products. There are always ready buyers at the ministries. I guess the Lagos State government must have had a big laugh thinking it has found a solution to this embarrassment by locating the Ikeja City Mall next door, but did it work?

We always hear of ministries and other government structures getting burnt in Nigeria and Mickey Mouse always getting the blames when it is no secret that some of these female civil servants have makeshift kitchens in their offices. You always see them at their desks drawing up lists of food ingredients for the interns to buy.


As I end this article, I want you all to join me in prayers that nobody recommends this paternity and maternity policy to my state government. Because as it stands right now, I can’t tell which is more confused between my state government and today’s weather.

50 comments:

  1. Most civil servants don't really have much to do in their offices

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    1. The only point I am getting from this guy's write up is that Etcetera's father was a lazy man. Which would explain the mumu's penchant for seeking fame without working for it or infact without having any discernible talent. He is a failed musician looking for relevance.

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    2. Etcetera is shallow. . . and without a real job. Once he is sacked from Vanguard not even The Pilot newspaper will touch him with a ten foot pole. . . He is forgetting a very important rule of engagement . . . you don't take on institutions when you are under employment, you can only do that when you are self-employed and well-off. . . i pray your end won't be messy, because those cheering you on including your current employer will treat like a leper once the heat starts.

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    3. Etcerera speak for ur family! My mum is a head of department in federal ministry of science and technology, they are very busy, and right from when I was a child. They are always doing projects and research and u can't even be absent without genuine permission for a day, my aunt in ministry of works too and several others, ur old skool days are gone

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  2. and some women get pregnant every 6/7 months...so if they grant them 6months they will come back wif anoda pregnancy test screaming positive...so dat means ds women work only for 6months and get paid for 2years...hahaha...naija we hail thee.
    Good one ecetera.

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    1. You are clearly very daft thats why you can say this they only award it for the first 2 pregnancies and i am sure there are rules on the leave you cant just get pregnant immediately.

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    2. How can a woman get pregnant 6/7 months?? Hear yourself now

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  3. It is clownish for Fashola to 'award' paternity leave to men, what for?

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    1. I love feminism but i believe one should also look at things critically. Fathers also need to be home to help their wives out and the first few days of a child's life is crucial, the father also needs to be around .

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    2. God bless fashola for d paternity leave......i knew wat my hubby went tru wen I gave birth,going from hospital to wrk.....d stress alone is frustrating.....think twice before u comment madam,fashola is nt dumb Lik dis foolish failed musician condemning pple's hard wrk....

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    3. Clueless goats they give paternity in other countries. 2weeks to be precise. You think it's only the woman job to take care of the child.

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  4. Notice me by fire by force......

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    1. My bro or sister na so we see am ooh they guy chats shit!!

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  5. This guy should shut the eff up. Why must he think he has an opinion on everything. I can't stand people like this. He obviously doesn't work.

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  6. Has the governor finished constructing and reconstructing roads? Paternity leave my foot!

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  7. Paternity leave? LOLZZ

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  8. So the father can also breastfeed the baby too. Funny people in APC won't destroy my ribs with laughter

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  9. This guy is saying the truth 100%. A lot of civil servants in the secretariat idle away gossiping.

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  10. As far as am concerned most of them have been on maternity leave for ages

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  11. It is a bit too long, but from the few paragraphs I have read, he is making some sense.

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  12. From this post, I can deduce two things. First this guy is not a father and secondly he's not gainfully employed. I am a father and just read with utmost disgust his very silly article. He seems to have a vendetta against the Lagos state government, maybe cause his proposal was declined. How on earth can you open your mouth and say that 3 month is enough for maternity leave for women. Does he know how it feels dropping off a 3 month old at the crèche cause the mother has to go back to work? That the poor child has to be introduced to formula at that stage. What about couples that don't have house helps or someone to slave for them as the nuisance put it, If he had gone through the process of child rearing, he would know that all the mother can practically do in the first week, is just breast feed the child and if a very strong woman, manage to do a little bit more. Lagos state government I'm sure must have done there research before implementation of this programm. He says civil servants are not workaholics, maybe he has a point there but the essence of the leave is actually not for them to rest, but to stay with their newborn child. The child would be breasted for the 6 months conveniently while the husband would help out where he can while the mother is recovering from the pains of childbirth labor. I've read a couple of this dudes article and I have come to conclude that he suffers from verbal diarrhea, which I don't have any problems with but I think he should just stay on issues where he seems to know a bit about and not where he's a total novice. PS, if he's proposal was worth it, I'm sure the Perm Sec would have gone through it and even shared the Boli with you, I'm guessing it was just as shitty as this your write up and the woman must have been furious at him for wasting her time, hence her reaction to him.

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    1. Well said! Very silly article by et cetera. He is clearly not a father yet, so I excuse his ignorance. I agree wt u again that he is tongue lashing them for not accepting his proposal...hehehe

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    2. Because you do not agree with him does not mean he does not have a point. The simple fact that has escaped your myopic point of view is that the PRODUCTIVITY is an issue to be tackled in civil service before paternity leave. Priorities!!

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    3. No be diarrhoea ... The writer is mensurating from brain yarning shit !!!!! Foolish fool

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    4. Baba Ibeji., Easy ooo. Ur wife give birth to twins? Hehehe

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  13. Etcetera is a busybody who is trying to stay relevant. To hell with him and his synopsis.

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  14. eat, gist, and buy and sell are the only things they do in Alausa

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  15. it is obvious that this man is frustrated.

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  16. Now it's time to bash hapless civil servants?

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  17. Intelligentsia02 August, 2014 10:19

    Spot on nephew...state civil service exhibit lackadaisical behaviour in totality. Lagos for example is synonymous with Africa Magic (yoruba). Anyone who is in doubt should visit them on Monday 9am. The whole leave issue will increase redundancy among them and reduce productivity.

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  18. The City Mall thing next to Alahusa wasn't conceived for that purpose though

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  19. Don't spoil civil servants anymore than they are already

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  20. etcetera don come again; nice piece though

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  21. The level of ignorance from nigerians scare me so a mother should be left to take care of the child alone and the father should have no in put what so ever. Most fathers want to help dre wives for atleast a week after she gives birth but are on able to kos of work. This is a great development it shows that nigerians are recognising the fact that a man too should be around a new born child and help as much as he can etcetera go and get a job seems u have so much time in ur hands to be writing shit!!!

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  22. I beg to disagree.

    Bringing a baby into this world is a very big change and takes a while to adjust to. A man should be with his family helping out whichever way he can. It changes his life too, and he's bound to have sleepless nights in the early days especially if he shares a room with his wife.. what's the fuss about 10 days biko?

    I just had my baby a month ago and I can honestly say that my husband was the one who did omugwo for me. New generation husband's are trying hard to be more family oriented than their fathers. My husband took one month (his annual leave though) off. He cooked and cleaned and bathed our son and changed his diapers and even pressed my stomach and gave me massages from time to time. It helps a lot and boosts the family bond.

    The work required for a newborn baby especially in the first month cannot be over emphasised and it is important that our men get more involved. There are a lot of women who don't have anyone to do the omugwo for them..the husband's are their only option.

    I wonder what you would say if you were in a country like Norway.

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    1. Abi o, if d man is not der how can he help his wife dat gave birth via CS

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  23. I don't believe he thought this through before putting it out,imagine dropping a three month old helpless baby at a creche knowing fully well the amount of love and care he or she needs would be lacking,and the emotion trauma to both mother and child every single day. This is the best news from Lagos state so far,it evens align with the WHO recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of the child. So Mr Opinionated come up with something else.

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  24. E.T.C, I imagined how you had painstakingly put your thoughts together on this issue and typed it out. It obviously look likes you didnt do a proper research on the subject Perhaps you needed to cause roars somehow. I am not a civil servant mind you. Your father or relatives must have been lackadaisical about their jobs in the past as civil servants but my own folks were not, they worked painstakingly for their pay. Currently you cannot be working for Lagos state govt.and abscond from work. There is an attendance system which is closely monitored. Please do a proper research
    To the maternity leave issue, guess again you don’t understand what child care means. Some women are advised to stay clear of work for 2 months or more before they are delivered of their baby because of stress and complications. In general the leave is meant to support the mother's full recovery from childbirth and facilitating a stronger mother-child bond and reduce child birth mortality.
    Who says the fathers shouldn’t be given paternity leave days of 10 days? This is great to bond with their wives and children.
    I think you got what you wanted, attention especially from some1 like me that rarely comment on blogs. I have issues with some of Fahsola policies but not this one. Guess you picked the wrong issue.

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  25. Some Nigerians are very stupid and foolish, the whole idea of paternity leave is to assist your wife when the baby just arrive. Some people don't have all the family support and the husband will be able to assist the wife. This is a practice in Uk and other part of the world where family life is appreciated. In the UK where family life is appreciated and some other developed countries where they do not see women as slave and over-work them offer 9months Maternity leave with pay. IDIOTS.

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  26. Etcetera tho always spilling shit from his anus

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  27. i guess etecera doesn't have a family yet so he doesn't know what it takes to bring a child to the world.

    As much as i see sense in your analysis of civil servant life but not all of them are the same. some parastals have intellect and intelligent people that are fully dedicated to their jobs. Don't base your ascertion on few facts. For cases like this as a good writer, you need to do research and tell us how you arrived at your conclusion.

    I commend Lagos state for the extension of maternity leave and creation of paternity leave. Kindly guess busy boy.

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  28. The only point I am getting from this guy's write up is that Etcetera's father was a lazy man. Which would explain the mumu's penchant for seeking fame without working for it or infact without having any discernible talent. He is a failed musician looking for relevance.

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  29. The most stupid article I've read in a long time. Etcetera is CLUELESS and really shouldn't be given the platform to air inane views. I can't even dignify this article by typing a response .

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  30. It's the bloggers that still make him relevant. The guy is probably an illetrate. Not every one that pass through school is exposed anyway

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    1. Just like you right. Gbagaun in your comment. Ode

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  31. A very stupid article. All government policies are implemented by the Civil Servants. Rubbish.

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  32. This guy writes nonsense

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  33. Dis guy etc is Jst a fool..writing rubbish all d time cos u wanna stay relevant..jobless fool!.go marry 1st and have kids b4 spewing rubbish!

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