For workers in the financial services sector, especially banks, these are challenging times. With the implementation of Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy that mandates all Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to remit revenue into a single account, many bank workers have become restless.
For them, the fear of job losses, following serious depletion of liquidity in the banks as a result of the policy, is the beginning of wisdom. There is widespread apprehension that the policy could lead to rationalisation of workers.
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Such apprehension may have been fuelled by the rush by MDAs, in an attempt to beat the September 15 deadline set by Secretary to the Federal Government, to pull out N1.2trillion, about $60billion from commercial banks to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Also, no fewer than 20,000 accounts were said to have been closed.
The effect of such huge remittance, it was learnt, was that commercial banks’ balances with the CBN usually earmarked for foreign exchange or bond purchases plunged from N73billion to N4.86billion. Already, banks are facing liquidity squeeze as the inter-bank, few weeks back, halted trading for three consecutive days due to sharp liquidity decline in the system. This was attributed to the implementation of TSA policy.
Expectedly, the liquidity decline has triggered fear within labour circles, with bank workers jittery over possible rationalisation.
Factional President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, says any policy that could lead to job loss does not only negate the quest for economic recovery, but also hinders national development. “Without employment, any policy geared towards empowering the majority and lifting them out of poverty, unfortunately, becomes a mirage,” he said.
According to Ajaero, anti-corruption, employment creation and eradication of poverty are part of the cardinal programmes of this administration, which it has re-emphasised since assumption of office.
While noting that these have been the expectations of many Nigerians, he said anything short of this would automatically force the organised labour to raise eyebrows.
Culled - The Nation
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