Minister for Labour Dr Chris Ngige has issued a stern warning to commercial banks who may have flouted his “no sack order”. The minister last week chided banks for massive layoffs insisting that he was going to meet with them to discuss.
Banks apparently disregarded his threat and carried on with their rights to hire and fire. Social media was agog last week when they read his comments with Nigerians shocked that a minister could issue such instructions in matters that concern private businesses.
The Minister is apparently not about to let this slide and has now issued a far harsher threat to commercial banks. See below;
We will go a step further if they continue. We know what to do. After all, the banks have the licenses giving by the government.
We know what to do. They need to comply. They need to come to the negotiation table. We did (halted the
spate of sack to hold a stakeholders meeting) that in the oil industry and we succeeded. Even if you are going to lay off, there is a way to declare redundancy, there is a process.
Section 20 of the Labour Act says it. You must call the unions and discuss with them. You don’t just treat them as slaves in their own country and you want us to keep quiet.
“We want them to maintain the statusquo. As far as I am the minister of labour, I will protect the interest of workers; same to the telecommunication companies, they are also talking about compiling lists without discussing with anybody.”
Somebody needs to tell the Minister this is not 1979.