By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Management of the Bank of Agriculture, (BOA), has cleared the air on allegations in the media pertaining the termination of 325 employees, saying the said employees were from the non-core sector of the organization disengaged in line with practice in the industry and were duly settled to the tune of N1.1billion as severance allowances.
The Managing Director/CEO of BOA, Alhaji Kabir Mohammed Adamu, disclosed this to newsmen while reacting to the allegations by the disengaged staff in Kaduna on Wednesday.
Alhaji Adamu who spoke through the Bank’s Acting Head of Corporate Communication, Mr. James Wayo, explained that the said disengaged 325 employees of the bank comprising of drivers, secretaries and auxiliaries were from the non-core sector of the organization due to age, length of service, decline in productivity, disciplinary cases in 2011 and in accordance with due process, and Collective Agreement in line with the practice in the industry.
He comfirmed that the former employees were duly paid all their entitlements in accordance with the salary structure as approved by the National Income Salaries and Wages Commission, (NISWC) and the Employee Handbook.
To butress his point and in view of this, documents showing payments to the said 325 disengaged staff of BOA, including 70 re-engaged, were tendered before newsmen for clarity.
According to the Managing Director/CEO, a total of N1.1billion was paid to the disengaged staff as severance allowance amounting to: N520,644,339.14 to Junior staff; while N624,969,884.29 were paid to Senior staff of the bank.
Speaking on the allegations of recruitment of relations by top Management of the Bank, he said it was not correct and should be disregarded. According to him, all recruitment exercises in the Bank were carried out in accordance with due process, the principles of Federal Character and the approval of the Federal Character Commission.
“On receipt of the resolution of the NASS requesting the Bank to review their case and give them first right of refusal in case of vacancies for which they are qualified, the Bank carried out a review, reengaged about 70 of them as Drivers and Secretaries.
“The Clerk of the NASS, the Permanent Secretary and Hon. Minister, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Complaint Commission and Legal Aid Council Kaduna were appropriately informed.
‘The Bank appeared before the House Committee on Legislative Compliance in December, 2016 on the matter where the committee confirmed that the Bank had complied with the resolution of the House.
“The Bank further appeared before the House Committee on Legislative compliance to show evidence of payment of their entitlements. Details of the Bank’s submission on compliance with the resolution of NASS and evidence of payment were made available to their representatives (solicitors) by the committee.
“He said the current Management Team of the Bank came into office March, 2017, and although management is continuous, but they were not part of these allegations we are talking about,” he added.
It would be recalled that the disengaged staff had alleged at a news conference in Kaduna recently that their appointments were wrongly terminated by the Bank without settlement of their entitlements.
They also spoke of alleged recruitment of relations by top management of the Bank.