Ignore Directive Halting Sack Of Bank Staff – NECA Chides Minister
Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has directed banks, financial institutions and other employers of labour to ignore the directive from Chris Ngige, Minister of labour and employment, directing banks and financial institutions to suspend further retrenchment of their workers.
Olusegun Oshinowo, Director-General of NECA, speaking at the weekend, against the Minister’s directive, said the labour law of the land did not empower the minister to issue such a directive, which he considered uninformed and populist.
He declared that the labour laws had envisaged redundancy situation and, therefore, made provisions in Section 20 of the Labour Act to guide the actions of the parties in the event of retrenchment or redundancy.
“The minister seems not to have shown understanding of the fundamentals of industrial relations and labour laws in Nigeria and thus, has acted ultra vires,” he said.
“Employers have rights, which include the right to hire and fire within the rules governing such employment contract and are employers’ prerogatives, which are not subject to ministerial directives.
“Where an employer has found it necessary to carry out retrenchment, it would respect the laws of the land and the laid down procedures for redundancy.
“Employers’ expectation from the Minister of labour and employment is that he will work hand in hand with other government ministries in the establishment of the desired enabling environment to ensure business sustainability, competitiveness and job creation.
“The Ministry of labour and employment is expected to respect the rights and interests of employers and workers alike on issues that relate to labour and industrial relations.
“For a long time, employers have been advocating that the Ministry should be headed by a technocrat in order to avoid the kind of disposition being displayed by the Minister, which tends towards populism and partisanship rather than professionalism.
“No employer would take pleasure in declaring redundant employees it had invested significant resources in developing over the years. Usually, redundancy exercise is foisted on employers on account of an unhealthy economy and the dynamics of the business, which often demands staff rationalisation.”
Story by David Oputah