Former Employees Threaten To Picket Unity Bank

GOMBE – About 1,000 former employees of the defunct Bank of the North that was acquired by Unity Bank Plc during the 2005 consolidation exercise, have threatened to picket all branches of the institution nationwide on Monday, July 8, 2013, unless the bank pays in full the outstanding 50 per cent of their gratuity, pension and other liabilities.

According to an ex-staff of the bank and former National President of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE), Mr. Babayola Mohammed Isa, those affected had exercised a lot of patience. He disclosed that some of those affected had been rendered absolutely poor and distressed; adding that others had even died out of frustration.

Unity BankSpeaking to journalists in Gombe yesterday over the plight of the disengaged staff of the bank, Babayola stated that they took the path of a peaceful resolution of the matter so as not to aggravate the already existing insecurity situation in the northern part of the country.

He cited section nine, sub-section two of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Consolidation Guidelines, which, according to him, directed all the merging banks to ensure that their pension liabilities were settled in full before effecting the merger. “Bank of the North Limited (Unity Bank), failed to abide by the guidelines and went ahead to merge.

This default was enough to invalidate the entire merger and render the process illegal,” he alleged. The group exhibited before journalists written document by Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), dated July 8, 2010, allegedly signed by one Feb Etodoh, which directed Unity Bank to pay them their benefits.

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