The Federal Government on Wednesday took a decisive step to avert lingering mass retrenchment and resolve other major labour issues in the banking and financial institutions.
Led by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, the government began a crucial negotiation with the organized labour unions in the sector – the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institution Employees (NUBIFIE) and the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSIBIFI).
The crucial talk began with a warning from the government that banks and their employees must be ready to operate within the provisions of the Nigerian laws.
According to the minister, the meeting was the first of the three-stage meetings with the stakeholders in the sector. He said: “Today, our journey towards the resolution of the industrial disputes in the banking and financial sector begins in earnest. You may recall the series of petitions from the organized unions in the banks and financial institutions , and individuals complaining of unfair labour practices which include illegal termination of appointments, forced resignations, unpaid exit emoluments and entitlements, non remittance of union check-off dues, prolonged casualization, contract staffing and redundancy.”
Ngige reassured that his intervention was to resolve the disputes in the overall interest of all Nigerians, while expressing displeasure with the skewed observance of the laws of the land by the financial institutions and warned that the provisions of the Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) cannot be the only law banks will comply with, to the exclusion of the laws of the country.