Opinion: Enough is enough; Sanusi’s bank workers should not be used and dumped

by Chukwuemerie Uduchukwu

banking-hall

Many of the staff of various banks in the country cannot boast of their job security. This is because they may come to work only to be informed that their services are no longer needed.

It is widely believed that the private sector is the largest employer of labour. This is why various governments in developing nations of the globe including Nigeria are rapidly privatizing various public corporations in order to increase efficiency in service delivery as well as increasing profit which will certainly result to higher taxation thereby increasing revenue of government.

The Banking industry is one of the private sectors of the economy that have put many efforts in financing various development projects of the country. The agricultural sector which is referred to as the highest employer of labour in Nigeria is one of the major beneficiaries of the financial assistance policy by the banks through various loans granted to various stakeholders in the agricultural sector. For example, in partnership with the banks, the federal government has given loans to farmers to enable them acquire enough quantity of fertilizers, encourage mechanized farming and increase production.

Apart from the agricultural sector, other vital sectors of the economy like the education sector has benefited a lot from the financial policies of the banking industry aimed at assisting the various sectors to promote their efficiency and goodwill. Through partnership with banks, various educational institutions have embarked on scholarship and training programmes for both their staff and students aimed at improving their knowledge. Some staff of some educational institutions were privileged to travel abroad to advance their knowledge through the assistance of banks which were either by loans or grants. Also some banks have donated buses to various tertiary institutions of the country to ease transportation difficulties experienced by those institutions.

Apart from the sectors discussed above, other sectors like the manufacturing sector is also a beneficiary of the financial policies of various banks which advanced the production capacity of the various industries in the country thereby increasing exportation and decreasing importation.

However, in recent times, the banking industry is widely regarded as an enemy of the labour force due to the manner they dismiss their staff. Many of the staff of various banks in the country cannot boast of their job security. This is because they may come to work only to be informed that their services are no longer needed. The banking industry is now practicing a use and dump policy on their staff which certainly end up throwing thousands of families in absolute tension, lack and poverty thereby increasing the rate of unemployment and crime in the society as some of these dismissed staff of the banks who cannot cope with that unprepared and unpredicted poverty and tension may end up commiting various crimes like turning into professional fraudsters, kidnappers and armed robbers in order to meet up with their family responsibilities.

If you look at the number of staff of banking industry dismissed in recent times and imagined the kind of distress those workers will be forced into, you may be tempted to waive some of the crimes they may have committed due to their dismissal from their job by their employers.

Most of these banks hide under recapitalization policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to sack their workers and claim that the action is to ensure efficiency in their service delivery and the most painful side of it is that it is not clear if these banks actually paid severance benefits to their sacked workers. For example about 482 days ago, Premium Times reported about peaceful protest staged by 1,500 former Intercontinental Bank workers that were sacked by the new management of Access Bank Plc to demand for the payment of their severance benefits. Up till today, it is unclear if Access Bank later paid the benefits to the sacked workers.

Also apart from Access Bank, other merged banks were also reported to have sacked the workers they inherited due to the merger without payment of their benefits.

Moreover, it is too bad that the banking industry chose massive dismissal of their workforce as a system of improving efficiency. If corruption is sincerely tackled by various MDs of the banking industry, there will be no need for massive dismissal of its workforce to save it from winding up. The massive dismissal of the staff of various banks is a big blow to the achievement of the recapitalization policy of the Central Bank because instead of promoting the goodwill of the banks which it was expected to achieve, it ended up promoting confusion and uncertainty among the workforce of the banking industry who are the major tools of gaining such achievement and if workers are not sure of the security of their job, they cannot put in their best thus promoting inefficiency instead of efficiency in service delivery.

Finally, the Federal Ministry of Finance should initiate an executive bill that aims at making it compulsory for all banks to specify the job duration of their employees.

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Comments (3)

  1. The best option is to enact a law mandating the stipulation of Job duration of an employee before his or her employment by his employer.

    This will gurantee job security and discourage unnecessary dismissal of employees.

  2. The recommendation that the Federal Ministry of Finance should specify an employment duration for bankers does not make any sense. Duration of a job would depend on the circumstances of the work to be done. What should be done is to strenghten labour laws to ensure that arbitrary firing and hiring of people is a thing of the past and also ensure that people are adequately compensated in the event of sudden job loss. This could be achieved by specifying stringent financial responsiblity for an employer in the event of a termination/redundancy/services no longer required or whatever else it is called. Also the laws should be strengthened to provide for basic rights of workers during employment.

  3. When former bank directors such as Cecilia ibru,Erastus Akingbola,Atuche and the rest suspected in defrauding banks they were meant to manage, staffs of this banks should have an incline and knowledge of how this people moved moneys to their private account but refused to take action against what today we’ll call bankfruad and the resulting shake-up,nobody want to be the whistle-blower,in such situation everybody loses now banks have lesser branches so they don’t take too much staffs to cut cost and for the available branches there’s much cueing leading to less service delivery and lost in customers fate in such banks

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