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Business News of Wednesday, 15 November 2023


Bank workers in Access, Zenith, UBA, others to shut down thousands of branches over labour strike

The photo used to illustrate the story The photo used to illustrate the story

The Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance, and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) has indicated an interest in joining Nigeria's ongoing NLC/TUC strike.

In a circular, the bank workers asked their staff to stay away from bank premises effective Wednesday, November 15, 2023.

The circular also stated that the move was to forestall possible attacks by hoodlums and disgruntled persons, a New Telegraph report said.

In the circular, /IIR/JO/AOE/EO/5471, issued on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, the bankers and financial institution workers said the move is in solidarity with the strike by NLC and TUC.

"In furtherance of the decision of the Joint National Executive Council (NEC) of the NLC/TUC on 13h November 13, 2023, the NLC/ITUC has directed all affiliate Unions and associations to embark on a nationwide strike with effect from Tuesday, November 14, 2023.

"Consequently, to prevent likely attacks by hoodlums and disgruntled persons, the ASSBIFI National Secretariat now advises members to stay away from work with effect from Wednesday, November 15, 2023, as we monitor the situation.

The statement was jointly signed by the SASG, Corporate Services, ASSBIFI, Joseph Agoha, and SASG, Industrial/Intel Relations, ASSIBIFI, Anthony Emeh, said: "While we implore members to remain vigilant and stay safe, further directives will be communicated to you in due course," the statement said.

Labour unions across Nigeria are protesting the high standard of living caused by petrol subsidy removal and an assault on the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, in Imo state two weeks ago.

However, observed that the bank workers partially complied with the ASSBIFI directives as most bank branches across the Lagos metropolis opened to customers on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.

A banker at First Bank in Adebola House Opebi told anonymously that they know the ASSBIFI order but are observing events.

"Maybe we will comply either this week or next, depending on the events situation." "For now, most of our branches remain open to customers, but we are cautious and might close before the usual time."

Other reports from other parts of Nigeria indicate that banks complied fully with the order.

The move has caused mild cash scarcity in some parts of the country as panicking customers besiege ATMs for cash withdrawals. reported that the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) on Monday, September 4, issued a statement saying all bank branches would be shut ahead of NLC's two-day warning strike beginning Tuesday, September 5, 2023.

According to reports, the statement said the notice aligns with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) resolution to embark on a strike to protest the hardships caused by the petrol subsidy removal. The general secretary of the union, Mohammed I. Sheikh, signed the statement.