By Victor Ahiuma-Young
LAGOS â€” PRESIDENT of West African Bar Association (WABA), and human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, yesterday said if the Central Bank (CBN) had not intervened and sacked the executives of the five troubled banks, when it did, the banks would not only have collapsed, but the nationâ€™s economy would have been in a serious jeopardy.
Mr Falana who spoke at a seminar organised by the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) to mark the World Decent Work Day, also faulted Tuesday announcement of a release of $2 billion by the Federal Government to the three tiers of government to cushion the effect of global economic meltdown, warning that it would worsen the inflation in the country.
The WABA President posited that if the disclosures of those toxic loans and financial recklessness of the management of those banks were covered up till now, it would have been a catastrophe.
He called on bank workers in the country to block and expose all attempt at capital flight and money laundering perpetuated through the banking sector by government officials and their private sector cronies, saying no laundering or capital flight could take place without passing through the banks.
According to him:Â â€œI call on workers in the financial institutions to bail out this country from high rate of capital flight that our leaders have through corrupt practices perpetuated through the banking industry. It is only when the workers take their destiny in their hands that those that fraudulently take public funds into foreign accounts could be checked.
Earlier, ASSBIFIâ€™s Acting President, Sunday Salako, who was represented by Edward Olobayo declared that Nigeria government had no regard for decent work as the laws of the land does not recognise any working environment for decent work, saying the nationâ€™s leaders must recognise the fact that the industrial crises in the country persist as a result of anti-decent work polices
Salako, who was represented by Edward Olobayo, said: â€œASSBIFI has used todayâ€™s decent work day symposium to call for drastic change in the Nigeria economy, as unemployment and poverty crisis threatens the livelihoods of millions upon millions of people, Nigerians and have brought the workers to the very edge of a catastrophic recession
â€œNigeria workers are living witness to the poor state of workplaces. We have a situation whereby most factories in the country are mere shadow of themselves as some are like slave-camp with very unfriendly atmosphere run by Lebanese, Chinese, Syrians and Japanese with no regard to Nigeria labour lawsâ€, he added
He however said WeÂ consider this symposium as part of our public sensitization initiatives among sectoral stakeholders, to drum up campaigns against financial institutions that have violently refused to recognize the rights of their employees to be unionised, before we commence the affirmative customers boycott campaigns.