Senate, on Wednesday, summoned the Labour and Employment Minister, Dr. Chris Ngige over ongoing mass retrenchment in the nation’s financial sector.
Also summoned were the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Godwin Emefiele, and Managing Directors of various commercial banks
The Upper Chamber’s decision followed a point of order raised by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim.
Senator Rafiu Ibrahim brought the attention of his colleagues to the retrenchment in the banking sector.
Ibrahim, armed with newspapers’ reports, specifically noted that the statement credited to the labour and productivity minister on the issue, allegedly contained some threats which could worsen the situation in the sector.
He explained that the threat allegedly issued by the Federal Government failed to reverse the on-going mass sacking or halt the exercise forthwith, was unhealthy for the sector.
The Federal Government threatened to withdraw the operational licences of any bank that arbitrarily sacks its staff.
He said, “They (federal government) gave directives to the banks not to retrench but banking been a very, very sensitive industry, any misguided statement or a statements can have a throwback on the industry.
“It can make or mar success of the banks. So it is a simple thing without any prejudice to the position of the minister.
“We want, as the chairman senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institution, for us to be able to invite the minister, the central bank and the banks to know if they are talking at all about retrenchment.
“We also want to know what will happen if the threats are carried out bearing in mind that all the banks in Nigeria are either private companies, or quoted companies.
“So we want to know the basis for the directives and the basis for the threat.
President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who presided over the session, did not allow debate on the point of order.
He simply asked the senators whether or not they were in support of the only prayer sought by Ibrahim, to which they answered in the affirmative.
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