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Nigeria's Minister of Interior, Patrick Abba Moro, has issued a press statement declaring 2 additional, one-off public holidays to compensate the fact that both the upcoming Christmas Day public holiday and the upcoming New Year's Day public holiday fall on a Sunday in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
The press statement, signed by Assistant Director, Ogaziechi Theodore, specifies that the Federal Government of Nigeria has declared Tuesday, December 27, 2011, "in order to allow Christians commemorate the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ", and Monday, January 2, 2012, "to mark the New Year celebration".
Once again (2010-12-17) this declaration of 2 additional year-end public holidays goes against the letter and spirit of articles 5a to 5d of the current laws regulating public holidays in Nigeria, the Public Holidays Act of 1979 (chapter 378), and the Public Holidays Act of 2004 (Cap.P40, Vol.14 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004), which stipulate that no day in lieu is to be given to compensate any public holiday that falls on a Saturday or Sunday.
However, in recent years, the practice of declaring day in lieu public holidays has become common in Nigeria (2011-09-26, 2011-05-24, 2010-05-25 and 2010-05-01), tending to indicate that President, Goodluck Jonathan, has decided to avail himself of the power he has to declare additional public holidays.
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