THE Federal Government has woken up to the fact that the banks are sacking people en masse.Â What was government expecting with the so called banking reform that has almost brought banking to a halt?
It is actually a miracle that banks have kept the number of staff they have, considering the deep effects that the challenges of the past few months have imposed on the operations of banks. Now that government knows banks are retrenching staff what would it do?
Did it not know the latest policies on banks would have any effect?
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Adetokunbo Kayode has ordered the banks to stop the retrenchments.
The CBNâ€™s Tunde Lemo, one of its deputy governors, retorted that the sacks were inevitable.
How are banks supposed to respond to this order? Would they recall the sacked staff? If their businesses have become unsustainable under the watch of various government agencies that draw their pay from the public purse, is it entirely their problem?
It is typical for government to react after damage has been done. If government is admitting its latest banking policy was wrong, it is in a good position to do something about them, rather than acting as if it does not know the source of the current scourge on Nigerian workers.
â€œWe have to understand the magnitude of the calamity that has befallen the banks,â€ Mr. Lemo said. â€œIf two-thirds of the capital the banks claimed they raise is not there, then it was bubble capital.â€Â Mr. Lemo has been CBN deputy governor for the past four years with initial responsibility for Financial Sector Services. Where was he when banks declared bubble capital?
For a democratic government that claims to lean on the people for its power, the attitude of the regulatory authorities in banks has drawn extensively from the dictatorial tendencies of the undemocratic governments that held sway years ago.
Everyone who gets to public office in Nigeria is glad the military left enough bad laws on which he can use to abuse the rights of the public.
Policies that result in mass sacking of workers are authored elsewhere and imposed on Nigerians. Our setting is unique. The few who work form the social security system for a myriad of relations and organisations.
Their earnings serve this long chain of dependents, members of the poverty circle, that earlier wholesale adoption of western economic policies, founded on their own social security systems, created. Without a social system like the Westâ€™s, the blind implementation of their policies, often to seek their recognition and acceptance, would continue creating enormous social problems in these parts.
As the proud preacher of the policy that has resulted in mass sacks in banks, government (the CBN) should have borne in mind the consequences of its action.
The reform is hurting the bleeding economy more than it intends to heal its afflictions.