– Fallout Of Banks’ Sudden Takeover
…..NPP Retrenches 1,000 UT, Capital Staff Workers
Several days after living in denial about the fate of staff of the collapsed UT and Capital banks, reality check has hit home, as 1,000 staff of the two defunct banks have been laid off by the GCB, in spite of the NPP government’s earlier claim that none of them would be laid off.
Management of GCB delivered the painful coup de grace when it announced that entitlements of the workers, including salary arrears, wages, leave and severance pay would be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651).
A business-like GCB Management also assured that care would be taken to ensure that in the laying off process, the Banks and Specialized Deposit Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930), is satisfied.
In simple terms, therefore, the 1,000 workers of the UT and Capital banks have their marching orders ready.
The development bursts a bubble that the NPP government had plunged the workers into in August, as it belies promises that the regime had made to the effect that none of the workers would be laid off.
In the wake of the collapse of the two banks, the BoG had promised, as part of announcement of the takeover of the two banks by the Ghana Commercial Bank, that none of the workers of UT and Capital would be laid off.
Now, it is clear the promise was ticket to Fools’ Paradise from the government.
As the combined staff strength of the two banks had been just a little over thousand, the lay-off of as many as a 1,000 of these staff by the GCB means the generality of the staff were not absorbed after all.
The abrupt end to the government’s false hope to the workers is a jolting that smirks of a wicked joke.
These staffs are going home at a time that most banks are collapsing, with the free fall of as many as 15 other banks in the offing.
Amidst the crash-landings, a new drive at automation of banking operations and services is also causing people jobs – Ecobank only recently laid off 181 outsourced staff, on account of a digital migration strategy.
Observers of the turn of fate for the UT and Capital Bank staff have described it as repatriation to a life of jobless hustle and frustration under a government which came into office on the promise of creating jobs.
But, even as the NPP government’s lie has eventually been proved, analysts had long predicted that the mass lay-off was always going to happen as the GCB, which had been used by the BoG to acquire the toxic assets of the two collapsed banks, was itself laying off workers at the time that it took over the two banks.
Sources at the bank confirm that the GCB had been negotiating and paying off many of its employees at the time that the BoG forced it to do sudden takeover of UT and Capital to save the investment of cronies.
Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, who has put Comfort Ocran, wife of Albert Ocran, a senior pastor at the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), which was a shareholder of Capital Bank, on the Board of the BoG, which sanctioned the controversial takeover by the GCB, has since claimed that he sanctioned the takeover to save the deposits of some 300,000 people.
The sudden takeover, which was done by the government without first formally getting the consent of the shareholders of GCB, has since been seen as the Finance Minister’s use of GCB.
The promise by the BoG that none of the staffs of the two banks that were being absorbed would be laid off was therefore a palpable lie.
The Member of Parliament for Bolga Central, Isaac Adongo, had described the GCB’s takeover of the two banks as and absorption of toxic assets, as he pointed out that the GCB was, for instance, not in position to benefit from extravagant assets, such as a $3million branch building of the UT Bank that it was acquiring for instance.
Analysts had also pointed out that some of the branch buildings of UT and Capital were in the same location with branches of the GCB and therefore there was no way GCB was going to exercise the serious imprudence of concurrently operating such additional branch buildings in the same location, warranting the engagement of UT and Capital staff who worked in such branches.
In spite of this factuality, the government had still lied about the GCB absorbing all staff of the two collapsed banks – until now that the GCB has announced retrenchment plans for the staff of the two banks.
The 1,000 bank workers who have been laid off go home to swell the numbers of thousands more of former employees who have already lost their jobs under the NPP government.
Indeed in February, this year, as many as 16,000 people engaged by the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) were sacked by the NPP government.
These laid-off employees, mostly in the public sector, were sacked by the NPP government simply because they had been engaged during the era of the predecessor NDC government.
The casualty list includes Alfred Ogbamey, Director of Public Affairs at the Ghana Gas Company, whose appointment was personally terminated by the President himself, and replaced with Ernest Owusu Bempah, an activist of the NPP, even though the PRO job at Ghana Gas is not a political appointment.
Interestingly, as President Akufo-Addo creates mass unemployment in the country, he has not failed to appoint his family, friends and ex girlfriends into an ever distending hegemony that is unprecedented in Ghana.
In addition to his daughter, and his numerous cousins who have been appointed to various juicy positions in his government, President Akufo-Addo has also appointed Virginia Hesse, his baby-mama, and Prof Abena Busia, his ex-girlfriend, as diplomatic envoys to Czech Republic and Brazil respectively.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Fiifi Samuels