October 01, 2012 /by Ahmed Sule and Three Anonymous Bankers
The banking sector has played an important role in the Nigerian economy.
However, despite all the good done by our banks, there has been a disturbing trend within the sector i.e. many banks have been committing gross human rights violations against its employees.
The paper - Are Nigerian Banks Committing Crimes Against Humanity? - explores the prevalence of crimes against humanity in the Nigerian banking sector. Since your firm acts as auditors/consultants to many of the Nigerian banks, we think it is important that you are informed about what is going on in the sector from a human rights perspective. The ongoing gross human rights violation has the potential to impact your client’s financials in the event of a class action by aggrieved employees.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the Nigerian Constitution promotes the dignity of human beings, however, this principle has been contravened by the sector.
There are various forms in which the rights of bank employees have been trampled upon in our Nigerian banks. The human rights violations can be classified into the following five categories:
• Unrealistic, Unreasonable and Unattainable Targets
• Degradation of Employees’ Dignity
• Discriminatory Practices Against Women
• Exploitative Working Hours
• Vicious Dismissal Policies
The human rights abuse occurring in the Nigerian banking sector has resulted in the following negative impact:
• Staff health has been jeopardized
• Family breakdown
• Negative view of bank employees by the public
• Discouragement of future generations
• Economic loss for banks, shareholders and the economy
• Bankers have been forced to engage with people whom they would not normally associate with
Going forward, the banks, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the United Nations and its agencies, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the general public all have a role to play in making crimes against humanity a thing of the past in the Nigerian banking sector.
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