Civil servants in Nigeria, except bankers and others offering essential services, won’t work on Friday, a day before the start of the country’s general election.

A statement from the Federal Ministry of Interior says: “Federal Government declares Friday 22, February 2019 as work-free day. Those providing essential duties and bankers are excluded.

“The work-free day is to enable citizens return to their poling units for the rescheduled presidential & national assembly elections.

“Security agencies have been directed to ensure safety of lives and property before, during and after the general election.”

Nigerians are expected to vote on February 23 and March 9, following a postponement of the polls originally scheduled for February 16 and March 2.

A holiday is likely to be declared for Friday, March 8, also.

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