Few civil servants resumed work at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja on Thursday after a two-day Eid-el-Kabir festivities.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who visited the Federal Secretariat, observed that virtually all the offices were empty and a few cars were parked at the parks that were usually full.
The Federal Government declared July 20 and July 21 as public holidays to mark the Eid el Kabir celebrations.
Some of the civil servants, who spoke with NAN, however, blamed the low turnout of workers after the holidays on non-payment of salaries before the break.
A civil servant, Mr. Kenneth Ubagha, said he did not expect to see many people in the office, due to his past experiences after the holidays, especially when salaries were not paid before such holidays.
“Well, it has always been like this whenever we have holidays at the middle of the month when salaries are not paid.
“Besides, it has become a tradition among Nigerian workers to use the rest of the days after holidays to continue to rest until the weekend before resuming fully, so this one cannot be an exception,” Ubagha said.
Another civil servant, Mrs. Juliet John, said a few civil servants were in their offices when she resumed.
John, who attributed the low response to resumption to non-payment of salaries, appealed to the Federal Government to always make arrangement to pay civil servants their salaries during periods of celebrations.
“This will boost their morale within such period to celebrate happily with their loved ones.
“You will agree with me that a lot of them who traveled home within the period found it difficult to return as they could not have sufficient transport fare to come back.
“I don’t think it will be a bad idea, if government at all levels, at such a time like this, be it Sallah, Easter or Christmas, can pay salaries and even offer special package to workers to put smiles on their faces. especially at difficult times like this,” she said.
Similarly, Mr. Lamidi Ashimu, said he returned from a trip to Ibadan, where he spent the Salah holidays with his family, just to resume work.
Ashimu, however, advised other workers that they should not use the non-payment of salaries and the holidays as excuses to absent themselves from work.