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Nigeria approves two weeks paternity leave for men

Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council, FEC, yesterday approved a 14-days paternity leave for men who are public servants in the new Public Service Rules to properly bond with their newborn baby or adopted one.

This was revealed by the Head of Service of the Federation (HoSF), Folashade Yemi- Esan after the FEC meeting presided over by the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The new paternity leave will be calculated based on working days and not calendar days. She further stated that the Annual Performance Evaluation Review (APER) and promotions has also been replaced with a new Performance Management System.

Dr. Yemi-Esan further reiterated that paternity leave which is only approved when the wives of male public servants are delivered of their newborn babies is done to foster the bonding of fathers and their children in the early period of postnatal.

In her words, “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.”

This new development in Nigeria’s public service seems to be a new development spreading across various African countries as opposed to days when maternity leave was granted to women. Countries like Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Mali and Algeria do not necessarily have an official paternity leave. However, they only provide a few days for the fathers to be absent from work after their spouses’ delivery.

In places like Kenya, men get two weeks of paid paternity.  Unfortunately, Paternity leave does not apply to every man. It is only applicable to men who are married and whose wives are recognized by their employers. This leave will only be granted for men who have been with the same employer for a period of 12 months and above before the birth of the child. They are mandated to present the birth certificate that shows their spouse gave birth and a written statement that they both live under the same roof before their leave is granted.

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