FG, ASSIBIFI Querry Banks’ Mass Sack
The Federal Government and the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSIBIFI) said that the recent mass sack by banks was unfair and that it must follow due process.
The Minister of Labour and Productivity Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, who spoke while meeting with the representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), bank’s and Labour unions in Abuja said that a committee would soon be set up to look into the impasse.
He said the federal government would frown at the actions of the banks that are now sacking their workers, if it discovered that due process was not followed in carrying out the exercise.
Kayode said: “Why are we sacking bankers in Nigeria? The whole newspapers have been full of stories of 1,500 sacked in banks, 2000 sacked in banks.
Whatever it is, we would like to get to the root and hear from the unions who are supposed to protect the interest of workers in that sector. It is good for us to hear from the banks themselves, and the regulators who guide the interests of the sector.
“There has to be pay cut because the environment was smooth and sweet, none of you complained. Government insists on due process. Let us not take it from one side let the public also know that you are doing your best for the workers. The impression given is that the unions have abandoned their people. We have started the process of dialogue and we must continue with it”.
The General Secretary of ASSIBIFI, Comrade Yacins Eremesele, decried a situation where some of the banks have refused to meet with the leadership of the union to discuss the issue.
“We take the banks on one-on-one basis now as they make their presentation. UBA, said they did not sack 2000 but they did not tell the public the number they sacked.
“We believe in what the press has said, they said 2000 and that is what is communicated. They did it unilaterally, the national union of ASSIBIFI was never involved.
Up till today we have called for meeting severally and they never gave us any reply, as if to say anything you want to do, go ahead and do it.
“On Oceanic Bank, we are aware that within or shortly before the Yuldetide season they contemplated the sack, we quickly wrote them, saying let’s do it in a friendly manner.
“It dosen’t take a whole day to hold meeting and discuss terminal benefit of people. Nobody says you must not sack if you must sack, but please follow due process.
“So a meeting was eventually held between them and the national union represented by me, and we signed an agreement in accordance with the Labour Act. We agreed on the number, which is 1900 people. If anybody says it is 2000, it is wrong, 3000 it is wrong”.
The Governor of CBN who was represented by his deputy, Sule Labaran denied that it was the apex bank that directed the banks to lay off workers.
Labaran said: “It is the banks really that should speak. The matter of sacking is for the bank not for the Central Bank. I will say the issues as we see it, just like the managing director of Intercontinental Bank has rightly said. It is not the business of the CBN to determine the management level of banks. They are in business to make money this determines their operational cost which includes staff cost.
Infrastructure Deficit, Insecurity, Limit Maritime Contribution To GDP – Expert
A Maritime stake holder, and Chairman of Sifax Group, Taiwo Afolabi, has attributed maritime industry’s minimal contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to infrastructure deficit, insecurity on the nation’s waterways, low level of technology adoption, and deployment in the sector.
Afolabi made this known at the 5th Taiwo Afolabi Annual Maritime (TAAM) conference organised by the Maritime Forum of the faculty of law, University of Lagos.
Afolabi noted that other hindrances are foreign exchange bottleneck and inconsistent policies.
“These have limited the ability of the sector to contribute significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product GDP.
“If well harnessed, the maritime industry has the potential to become a major revenue earner for the country, particularly with the declining oil revenue.
“The lessons of the last few years as a nation should not be lost on us. The non-oil sector is increasingly becoming the mainstay of the country’s economy. We have funded our national budget in the last few years majorly without proceeds from oil but from other sectors.
“The days of our over reliance on oil is behind us now and it’s about time we focused on transitioning from an oil-dependent economy to non-oil reliance.
“The maritime sector, I can say without any fear of contradiction, will play a crucial role in this economic transitioning if more attention is committed to the industry.
“Judging by the potentials of the industry, we are of the opinion and belief that Nigeria’s maritime industry can rank among the best in the world.
“It will only take careful planning, progressive policies, generous funding, enabling environment, friendly economic policies, manpower development and massive infrastructural development”, he noted.
Loans Repayment Default: DMO Exonerates Nigeria
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has refuted the claim by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that Nigeria has defaulted in repaying its Chinese loans.
SERAP had in an earlier statement hailed the judgement that ordered the present regime led by President Muhammadu Buhari to account for how it spent $460 million obtained from China to fund the Abuja Closed-Circuit Television project which later was not implemented.
The NGO also quoted a report in its statement saying “Nigeria has failed to repay loans for which penalties stand at N41.31bn”.
But DMO in its refuttal said the statement is ‘false’ as Nigeria has not defaulted in its loan repayment.
It said, “Nigeria is fully committed to housing its debt obligations and has not defaulted on any of its debt service obligations”, DMO said on Monday.
SERAP had sued the Federal Government following a 2019 disclosure by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed that “Nigeria was servicing the loan”, adding that she had “no explanations on the status of the project”.
She reportedly said, “We are servicing the loan. I have no information on the status of the CCTV project”.
Giving his judgement, Justice Nwite agreed with SERAP that “there is a reasonable cause of action against the government. Accounting for the spending of the $460 million Chinese loan is in the interest of the public. It will be inimical for the court to refuse SERAP’s application for judicial review of the government’s action”.
The presiding justice also said the Minister of Finance is in charge of the finance of the country and “cannot by any stretch of imagination be oblivious of the amount of money paid to the contractors for the Abuja CCTV contract and the money meant for the construction of the headquarters of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB)”, SERAP said.
CBN Names Four Firms To Print Cheques
Nigeria’s apex banking institution, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has named four local firms for the printing of cheques, excluding the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NPSMC) PLC.
The list of the approved firms for the printing of cheques was contained in a circular issued by CBN.
The circular, which was signed by the Director of Banking Services, Sam Okojere, said the approved firms include Superflux International Limited, Tripple Gee and Company, Yaliam Press Limited, and Marvelous Mike Press.
“The re-accreditation of Cheques Printers and Cheque Personalisers is in line with the relevant qualification criteria”, CBN stated.
The circular also revealed that seven banks were approved as personalisers of cheques: they are Zenith Bank Plc, Ecobank Plc, First Bank Ltd, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Keystone Bank Ltd, Providus Bank Ltd and Wema Bank Plc.
It further disclosed that all accredited printers and personalisers had been duly notified and certificates issued.
The Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company Plc is the sole printer of N200, N500, and N1000 new notes.
Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company Plc and Euphoria Group Limited were accredited and approved on Thursday, 04 December 2014, in a letter REF: BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/02/033.
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