The Nigerian government has approved two weeks of paternity leave for new fathers.
This was disclosed by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan, at the end of Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting. Mrs Yemi-Esan said the approval of paternity leave is one of the major reforms introduced to the Nigerian civil service.
She said the last time Nigeria reviewed its Public Service Rules (PSR) was in 2008, thus the need for the latest review. She also spoke on why the government approved paternity leave.
Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan
“Paternity leave is the leave that is approved for men, when their spouses or wives have given birth to a newborn baby; or if the husband and wife have just adopted a baby of less than four months, then the man is entitled to paternity leave of about 14 days.
“So, that is what has been approved for men. So that the men and their babies also can bond well together. It’s important because we want the young children and the youth to really bond properly with their fathers, just as they bond well with their mothers.
“So, this is the time that has been approved now, for men to bond at the early stages, especially at the early stages of a child’s life, that is when it’s very important for this bonding to take place,” she said.
Nigeria’s current civil service rule allows for four months of maternity leave for new mothers. A month is given to pregnant mothers before birth and three months after birth.
Also, nursing mothers are also permitted to close early upon resumption until the baby is six months old
The permanent secretary equally highlighted that the Public Service Rules document has increased from 16 to 17 pages. She said the chapter on Annual Performance Evaluation Review (APER) and promotions have been replaced by a new chapter on a newly introduced performance management system.
“There is also a chapter that has also been reinvigorated, that is, the chapter on training. This is an all important chapter because of the importance that training has in the public service.
“We also have a new chapter on virtual meetings. You would recall that there was a policy document that was approved by the Federal Executive Council. So we put some of the guidelines from that policy document into the new public service rules. And so we have accepted virtual meetings as a tool to be used in service. And there’s some guidelines there,” she said.
The head of civil service of the federation also explained that workers’ leave is now calculated based on working days, “not on calendar days.” She added that the new PSR has also introduced the transition from paper service to a digital service.

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