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Banks’ Reorganisation: Casual Workers Demand Regularisation

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Casual or “contract” workers with the five banks whose managements we recently sacked by the CBN have appealed to the new managements to regularize their employment status by converting then from contract to regular staff.

Staffers from the affected banks say at least one executive director in each of those banks own the firm which engaged them on contract terms and pay them for less then what the regular staff get, a salary they describe as “a salve wage”.

A substantial percentage of the bankers noted that they were unnecessarily exposed to huge cash against low pay. In their opinion, the managements deliberately keep their employment status as such for their selfish benefits.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of them who work for a first – generation bank said, “The contract staff are allowed to work everywhere like regular staff. There is no control.

We handle big transactions daily that some one of our standing is not supposed to have access to.”

The Tide learnt that some of the contract staff work at the treasury as well as carry out some other sensitive duties in these banks. They are equally allowed to transact business worth billions of naira in some instances.

We also learnt that the contract staff phenomenon is prominent with Oceanic Bank, Union Bank, and Intercontinental bank.

Others with huge percentage of contract staff are United Bank for Africa, Skye Bank and Access Bank. Many of these contract staff are as qualified or better qualified than their regular counterparts yet the banks refused to regularise their employment status, preferring to exploit them. Skye bank, it was discovered that it is notorious for this practice. Some of its contract staff have spent six or more years in one position with no hope of promotion or conversion. They are regularly looked for when a regular position needed to be filled, even when they are qualified for the post. A contract worker with B.Sc degree, who had spent over six years in Skye Bank, is paid less than N1 million per annum while the start off package for an entry level employee is about N3 million.

The source said he had made several attempts to be converted to a regular staff or worker to no avail.

“We are only here to fill the gap for some candidates the executive directors are bringing,” stated the contract staff. “At least, I know that one of the executive directors that was sacked owned the recruiting firm that recruited me,” another casual worker said. Others contented that the situation was almost similar in all the banks in the industry where the managing director or one of the directors owns the recruiting firm that overseees their employment.

They complained that their appointments get terminated once the directors bring their own people, who they have retained the openings for, as regulars.

The contract staff also alleged that the remuneration is low and that is why they prefer to keep most staff on the contract list. A source at the treasury of one of these banks said.

They once made the same mistake with one dispatch rider who falsified an account to deceive CBN officials and immediately went to cash the money as soon as it was paid into his account and disappeared. The man has not been found since then”.

They appealed for a review of their employment with the banks in accordance with the CBN stand on contract staff in banks.

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Economic Growth, Determining Factor For Policies In 2023  – Stockbrokers

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Chairman of Research and Technology at the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), Mr. Akeem Oyewale, has said that economic growth and development should be the determining factor in policies ahead of 2023.
Oyewale, who said this recently at the institute’s Annual National Economic Review and Outlook 2022 webinar  in Lagos, urged policy makers to act in a spirit of justice and tolerance to avoid acts that could lead to violence in the run-up to the 2023.
Speaking on the topic: “Global Dynamics Shaping Nigeria‘s Economic Future”, Oyewale listed factors such as the process leading up to the 2023 general elections, the response to Omicron, and the effects of COVID-19, as what would also determine the growth of the nation’s economic development.
He used the fora to urge the Federal Government to intensify its engagement with Nigeria’s capital market to better smoothly finance the 2022 budget deficit without increasing borrowing.
Oyewale also directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to fully consider the effects on the capital market when making monetary and fiscal policies.
According to him, the philosophy of building an economy led by the private sector enshrined in the National Development Plan must be strictly adhered to.
On the need for new listings, Oyewale said Nigeria National Petroleum Company’s trading should continue with the public listing of its shares on the stock market.
This, he explained, would give Nigerians the opportunity to co-own one of the country’s commanding heights.
“The CBN and banks should grant trading facilities to securities trading firms in the country to maintain optimism in the capital market”, he said.
Speaking further, he urged pension funds and other institutional investors to increase their investment in the stock market to create much-needed stability and encourage new investment.
Earlier, President of the CIS Council, Mr Olatunde Amolegbe,  said the institute would continue with initiatives that would enhance its growth and development in 2022.
Amolegbe stated that CIS would undertake activities that would promote capital market literacy in all geopolitical zones of the country, saying that he would strengthen collaboration with international professional bodies such as CISI UK and others for the benefit of their members.
He continued that the institute was working to increase the number of Nigerian universities offering graduate and undergraduate courses in securities and investment/capital market studies.
“Our vision by 2023 is to see the Securities and Investments profession registered in the hearts of young Nigerian academics as their preferred career path and CIS as the model to be followed by other professional bodies,” he concluded.

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PenCom Completes Review Of Pension Reform Act 2014

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The regulatory body of the Nigerian Pension Industry, the National Pension Commission (PenCom) says it has deliberated on the review of the Pension Reform Act 2014 (PRA 2014).
This was contained in a statement to newsmen signed by Peter Aghahowa, Head, Corporate Communications of PenCom, who disclosed that the regulator organised the retreat on the review of PRA 2014 in Abuja between January 12 and 14.
According to Aghahowa, the retreat was aimed at identifying salient issues to be reviewed in the PRA 2014 as a prelude to advancing legislative action on the bill.
Aghahowa said it is expected that the National Assembly would subsequently organise a public hearing to provide an avenue for stakeholders to formally make input into the proposed amendments.
He also said that the PRA 2014 was enacted following a review of the initial PRA of 2004, which introduced legal and institutional frameworks of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and established PenCom to regulate and supervise all pension matters in Nigeria.
According to him, the Director-General of PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, during the opening ceremony of the retreat, had informed the participants that the PRA 2014 codified one of the most important socio-economic reform initiatives of the Federal Government.
He continued that she said this has brought about a pension industry that has accumulated pension assets in excess of N13 trillion invested in various aspects of the Nigerian economy.
He quoted her as saying that “the review is a corollary to some implementation challenges encountered with certain sections of the Act not long after its enactment in July 2014.
“This was also an addition to persistent calls from stakeholders for the amendment of some sections of the Act, which resulted in several legislative initiatives through the sponsorship of Bills for amendment of the PRA 2014 by the National Assembly.
“Consequently, the Commission as the regulator of the pension industry, decided to coordinate and harmonize the various efforts in order to achieve a comprehensive and constructive exercise for the review of PRA 2014”, he concluded.

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Speed Up Resolutions On Tax Disputes, FIRS Urges Tribunals

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The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Mamman Nami, has called on chairmen and commissioners of the Tax Appeals Tribunals (TAT) to devise appropriate mechanisms to achieve early and speedy resolution of tax disputes.
Nami made the appeal in Abuja recently at the opening of a two-day retreat on the new TAT ‘Procedure’ Rules and e-Filing platform.
He advised members of the tribunal to also pay attention to the public concern on the inconsistency in Order III (6) of the new TAT (Procedure) Rules and Paragraph 15(7) of the 5th Schedule to the FIRS (Establishment) Act to avoid litigations.
“I commend the commissioners for contributing to the development of the tax jurisprudence through the delivery of sound judgments.
According to him, from available reports, they have always exhibited a high level of commitment, probity and transparency in the discharge of their responsibilities.
“I want to also use this medium to appreciate and thank the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, and all those who contributed to the development of the new TAT (Procedure Rules) and the e-filling platform.
“These two landmark achievements are expected to improve the efficiency of the tribunals for timely and quicker delivery of judgments, which in turn, will improve compliance and collection,” he said.

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