Time Format for Work Hours in Nigeria

The time format for work hours in Nigeria is by no chance the same with how it obtains in other parts of the western world. Although other African countries are almost in the same boat as Nigeria, the country somewhat uses various streams of time based on the choice of the entrepreneurs. This variation in time as it affects the working hours in Nigeria is largely dependent on the zones to which the shape of the earth rolls the continent.

Nigeria observes West Africa Time, which is one hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+01:00), year-round as standard time. Nigeria has never observed daylight saving time. It shares WAT with fourteen other countries in Africa. Nigeria’s local mean time was UTC+00:13:35.

The Southern Nigeria Protectorate and the Northern Nigeria Protectorate were separate entities. Lagos, the capital of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate, first adopted the standard time of Greenwich Mean Time (UTC±00:00) on 1 July 1905, but reverted back to local mean time on 1 July 1908. After the protectorates were amalgamated, UTC+00:30 was adopted nationwide. On 1 September 1919, Nigeria adopted UTC+01:00 as it was seen as a more accurate offset from Greenwich Mean Time.

Nigeria‘s local mean time was UTC+00:13:35. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT; UTC±00:00) was adopted as the standard time of capital Lagos in the Southern Nigeria Protectorate—a protectorate of the British Empire—on 1 July 1905, however Lagos reverted back to local mean time on 1 July 1908. The Southern and Northern Nigeria Protectorates were amalgamated to form the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria on 1 January 1914. Accordingly, UTC+00:30 was adopted as the universal standard time of the newly unified Nigeria.

However, Nigeria is located between both the meridians of UTC+01:00 and UTC+02:00, but chooses to observe the former. Nigeria’s standard meridian—and thus the standard meridian of West Africa Time—is located at the 15th meridian east.

Time Format for Work Hours in Nigeria

The time format for work hours in Nigeria, as said earlier, is never the same even in the country itself. This is purely because there are several factors that contribute to these anomalies. The arbitrary decision of the entrepreneurs and management policies of the various organizations are common reasons. Here is the commonly acceptable time format in Nigeria:

Hours on Daily

The standard working week in Nigeria consists of 48 hours, 8 hours per day, and that is, 9am to 5pm.

All work more than the standard working hours a week is to be paid as overtime and is regulated by employment contract/collective agreements.

When an employee is requested to work overtime or work on holidays, there are maximums in relation to the number of hours allowed.  

All overtime hours in excess of 48 hours a week are paid at an overtime compensation rate; this rate is stipulated in the employment contract/collective agreements.

Work Days in Nigeria and Paid Off-Work

The days to work in the country goes from Monday to Friday. If any such worker works on Saturday, he or she is expected to be paind for overtime, except where employment agreement states otherwise.

In addition, if an employee has been employed for 12 months, they are entitled to 6 days of paid annual leave. 

Public Holidays

There are 13 public holidays.

Sick Days

Employees are entitled to 12 days of paid sick leave per year following the presentation of a medical certificate after two days of absence.  

Maternity Leave

Female employees within the public sector are entitled to 16 weeks of maternity leave at 100.00% of the employee’s average pay rate.

In contrast, private-sector employees are entitled to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave at 50.00% of the employee’s average salary. Employees receive this entitlement following six months of consecutive service within the company.

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