United States bankers warn over ex­ter­nal re­serves

The Pak Banker - - Company& -

LA­GOS: US bankers in the coun­try, week­end, said there was no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the nation's ex­ter­nal re­serve to plum­met from US$62 bil­lion in 2008 to the pre­sen­tUS$34 bil­lion at present, warn­ing that the trend por­tended great dan­ger for the econ­omy.

The bankers, un­der the um­brella of As­so­ci­a­tion of Se­nior Staff of Banks, Fi­nan­cial and Fi­nan­cial In­sti­tu­tions, ASSBIFI, also said they would con­front man­age­ments of banks and other fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions who had pen­chant for un­fair labour prac­tices, es­pe­cially con­tract staffing and ca­su­al­i­sa­tion of work­ers.

In a New Year mes­sage to Nige­rian work­ers, Pres­i­dent of ASSBIFI, Com­rade Salako Sun­day Olu­soji, lamented that the great­est catas­tro­phe that had be­fallen the coun­try was the squan­der­ing of the bil­lions of dol­lars ac­cru­able to the nation as pro­ceeds from sale of crude oil. He expressed dis­gust that since 1960 when the nation got in­de­pen­dence till date, there had been brazen loot­ing of the pub­lic trea­sury, ap­prox­i­mat­ing US$450 bil­lion (more than N285 tril­lion) was lost to cor­rup­tion.

Olu­soji said: "Be­yond these hos­tile eco­nomic poli­cies im­posed by the Bret­ton Wood in­sti­tu­tions like World Bank/IMF, Paris Club, and its agen­cies like the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion, WTO, the great­est catas­tro­phe that has be­fallen the coun­try is the squan­der­ing of the bil­lions of dol­lars ac­cru­able to the nation as pro­ceeds from sale of crude oil.

"Since 1960, when we got in­de­pen­dence till date, there has been brazen and zenithal loot­ing of the pub­lic trea­sury, ap­prox­i­mately US$450 bil­lion, more than N285 tril­lion, was lost to cor­rup­tion. Our for­eign re­serve which stood at $62 bil­lion as at Oc­to­ber 1, 2008 has now been de­pleted to $34 bil­lion with no man­i­fest in­vest- ment or devel­op­ment to jus­tify it. Rather, the po­lit­i­cal of­fice hold­ers con­tinue the 'set­tle­ment' cul­ture in­sti­tu­tion­alised by the mil­i­tary regime by award­ing bo­gus and scan­dalous emol­u­ments to them­selves at the detri­ment of the nation.

"As the Cen­tral Bank gover­nor, Mal­lam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has re­vealed re­cently, the Na­tional Assem­bly is ser­viced by 25 per cent of the Fed­eral Govern­ment over­head cost bud­get."

The Se­nate Pres­i­dent goes home with $1.75 mil­lion ev­ery three months, while the Speaker of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives takes home $1.45 mil­lion, while huge re­sources are be­ing ex­pended as over­head ex­penses to main­tain min­is­ters, per­ma­nent sec­re­taries and per­sonal/spe­cial ad­vis­ers than any­where in the world.

"This amounts to prof­li­gate and mind­less eco­nomic wastage in a coun­try where her av­er­age cit­i­zen sub­sists on a dol­lar a day and the work­ers are clam­our­ing for min­i­mum wage of N18,000. Con­tem­po­rary ex­pe­ri­ence in the fi­nan­cial sec­tor in the coun­try has shown that af­ter any shake-up, the first ca­su­alty is usu­ally the em­ploy­ees and de­pos­i­tors.

Since the Prof. Charles Soludo Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria con­sol­i­da­tion re­forms of 2005, most man­age­ments of the sur­viv­ing banks have been no­to­ri­ously hos­tile to work­ers' and unions' rights. "The Sanusi shake up also trig­gered an era of un­prece­dented mass re­trench­ment in the in­dus­try with con­scious steps to liq­ui­date union struc­tures. The sit­u­a­tion is more pa­thetic in the in­surance in­dus­try, mi­cro fi­nance banks and other fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions. These or­gan­i­sa­tions that ought to be the flag­ship of pro­fes­sional stan­dards, ethics and val­ues, have be­come odi­ous pur­vey­ors of var­ied types of gross mis­con­duct and cor­po­rate so­cial ir­re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. -PB News

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