OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives on Wednesday, resolved to probe the recent retrenchment of staff by Access Bank Plc.
The bank had recently laid off 45% of its staff strength and has remained adamant in reinstating them, despite directives from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The House resolution to probe the retrenchment was pursuant to a motion brought before it by Mr. Chinedu Ogah (Ebonyi, APC).
Leading a debate on the motion, Ogah dwelled on Section 14(2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), saying, “the duty of government includes the security of lives and welfare of the people of Nigeria”.
The lawmaker said, “the federal government is to control the economy in such a manner as to ensure the wellbeing and happiness of every citizen as enshrined in Section 16(1)
(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended)”.
He argued that “as a result of the merger of Access Bank Plc with the now defunct Diamond Bank
Plc, it inherited the assets and liabilities of Diamond Bank Plc and thereby had a total of 31,987 employees, higher than the pre-merger number of 15,316″.
The lawmaker said he was personally pained that, “as a result of the inherited liabilities, Access Bank Plc recently dismissed seventy-five percent of its staff population and reduced the salary of the remaining twenty-five percent by forty percent”.
“The action of Access Bank Plc will have a negative impact on the society in terms of increase in crimes, lack of employment, depression and probable loss of lives.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria in its response and in the exercise of its powers as enshrined in Section 61(1) (a) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, directed Access Bank Plc to recall the laid-off staff and provided assistance to Access Bank Plc to cushion the
effect of the new liabilities it inherited from the merger.”
Mr. Ogah regretted that the commercial bank refused to harken to the directive of the apex bank.
The House, therefore, mandated its Committee on Banking and Currency to investigate why Access Bank PIc and other Banks have not recalled the laid off staff after the CBN has given directives and assistance to the banks to do so.
The motion was passed and referred to the Committee on Banking and Currency to report back to the plenary within 2 weeks for further legislative action.
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