Sunday, October 2, 2016 7:33 pm
Oil rich Saudi Arabia and the birthplace of Islam shifted to the western Gregorian calendar on Sunday, bringing the oil-rich kingdom in line with many of its energy customers.
The Islamic lunar calendar is actually 15 days shorter than the 365-day solar year which will actually save the kingdom money by cutting salary days for many public servants.
The kingdom has been using the Islamic calendar since it was founded in 1932, Al Arabiya local news reported.
The newspaper reported that austerity measures and the need to conserve funds caused the shift.
With the change in calendar, Saudi workers will now need to work more days to earn the salaries already sliced by government.
Also, government employees will get less annual salaries than they used to receive.
Saudi cabinet announced the reduction of salaries of ministers and Shura members (advisors) last week as part of an austerity package being implemented to deal with the drop in oil revenue.
The government has also announced cancellation and amendment of civil servants’ allowances and rewards, such as cancelling the annual bonus.
Osun, Oyo and Kano are some of the states in Nigeria which have declared as a special holiday to mark the Islamic year, which began on 1 October.