You must obey labour laws, Ngige tells banks

You must obey labour laws, Ngige tells banks
August 11 20:50 2016

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige said the federal government would not tolerate flagrant disobedient of the country’s labour laws and regulations by banks and other financial institutions.

Ngige says this on Thursday during an interactive meeting with stakeholders in the banking and finance sector on labour issues, especially the recent gale of retrenchments in some banks across the country.

“You must obey all laws of the land including labour laws, such as the Trade Union Act, T14 law of the federation concerning redundancy and the Trade Dispute Act which deals with the management of trade disputes including employee-employers’ relationship,” he said.

The minister said Nigeria is a signatory to International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions that promote decent jobs and frown at unfair labour practices.

He said the country cannot afford to be found wanting by the international body in the implementation of labour laws and conventions.

“The ILO takes very seriously the issue of workers maltreatment in various guises, be it in the industries, construction sites or public service. Workers should be treated with dignity and decency,” he said.

He said government’s intervention on issues in banking and financial sectors was not an undue interference in the affairs players in the sectors, but a proactive measure aimed at finding lasting solution to the looming industrial unrest.

In his remarks, representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Kolawole Balogun, said the bank is determined to reduce the rate of unemployment through diversification of the economy.

“We have looked at our laws in terms of our limitations. In as much as we cannot impose staff on any bank, we can engage them on other solution and that is what we are doing now. We have even gone a step further to look at how we cannot in terms of regulation but in terms of knowing why they are actually disengaging their staff.

“We will soon come up with a circular for the banks to ensure that if they are going to disengage up to a certain no of staff they should let us know and explain why. Although times are challenging at the moment, they can still manage to keep some level of their staff and remain profitable.” He said.

On his part, representative of First Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Shehu Aliyu, said management of the bank would not be reckless to breach the laws of the country.

He commended the minister for summoning the meeting to find solutions to the problems in the banking sector that would be acceptable to all stakeholders, adding that the commercial banks would continue to discuss within the purview of the laws.