By Wahab Akanji, AbujaÂ
The upper legislative chamber, the Senate has summoned the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige over his threat to sanction banks that sack their staff.Â
The move is sequel to a motion of personal explanation by Chairman of Committee on Banking and other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim on Ngigeâ€™s threat to revoke the licenses of banks that ignored Federal Governmentâ€™s directive on retrenchments in banks.Â
Ibrahim told the Senate at plenary that the minister was widely reported to have threatened in far away Geneva, Switzerland that banks that flouted government directive not to sack workers should expect sanction including revoking their operating license.Â
He said that it be appreciated that the banking industry is sensitive sector but noted that any misguided statement or directive has the capacity of a throwback on the industry.
He added that it should equally be appreciated that certain statement could create a run of the banks.
â€œWithout any prejudice to the position of the minister, we want, as the Chairman Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial institutions for us to invite the minister, the Central Bank and the banks to know if they are talking at all about retrenchment and what will happen.â€Â
He noted that all the banks in the country are private companies or unquoted companies.Â
â€œSo we want to know the basis of the directive and now the basis of the threat,â€ he said.Â
Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who granted the request, said that Senator Ibrahim brought the matter to him.Â
Saraki said, â€œSenator Rafiu Ibrahim brought this matter to me and he has come under personal explanation of which there would be no further debate.â€Â
He said that those invited should appear before the committee.Â