Crisis As 100 Polaris Bank Staff Threaten To Shut Down Operations Nationwide Over Unpaid Salaries

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100 Polaris Bank Staff Threaten To Shut Down Operations Nationwide Over Unpaid Salaries
Crisis As 100 Polaris Bank Staff Threaten To Shut Down Operations Nationwide Over Unpaid Salaries

Crisis As 100 Polaris Bank Staff Threaten To Shut Down Operations Nationwide Over Unpaid Salaries—-All does not seem well for Polaris Bank Limited as emerging reports indicate that the bank is currently being troubled over its recent controversial sale by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Reports had it that incoming administration of Bola Tinubu on 29 May 2023 may reverse the controversial sale of Polaris Bank after inauguration.

It would be recalled that in October 2022, the CBN sold the bank for a paltry N40 billion under controversial circumstances, after sinking over N1.2 trillion into it.

The sale, however, triggered a wave of allegations from lawmakers, trade unions, and other opponents who described the deal as a foul play.

According to reports, the apex bank sold the bank to Strategic Capital Investment Limited (SCIL), which was said to be managed by Auwal Lawan Abdullahi, a son-in-law of Ibrahim Babangida who holds the Sarkin Sudan Gombe traditional title from the north-eastern state, despite his limited credentials in banking and finance. It was learnt that the sale meant that Nigerian taxpayers lost around 97 per cent of state investment in Polaris. As at December 2020, AMCON investment in the bank stood at N848 billion, per company filings, with insiders say an additional N350 billion was poured in between January 2021 and July 2022

Amidst the bedeviling crisis, some customers of the bank, small and medium enterprises in particular, are reportedly withdrawing their money to safer banks over fear of imminent distress.

According to inside sources in the bank, the bank has lately lost some customers (depositors) who are edgy about their deposits and have lost trust in the bank because of huge job losses and unethical industrial practices currently going on in the bank.

Sources also revealed that for the second month, over 100 branch managers of the bank are placed on suspension without pay for having non performing loan ratio above 5%.

However, it was gathered that these loans were duly approved and interests earned by the bank. Some of the managers told our correspondent that they did not book most of the loans but the loans were referred and booked by other senior staff who are walking about freely.

According to Labour laws, suspension of a worker without pay should not exceed two weeks but the bank initially issued letters of suspension for 30 days. After the expiration, the suspension without pay continued for another two months without further advise to the staff.

Some of the staff who spoke to newsmen said the management of the bank insisted that staff “on suspension must come to work daily and are drilled for performance review on a daily basis with the managing director presiding over the weekly meetings which lasts late into the nights.”

According to reports, some aggrieved staff of the bank have dragged the bank before the

National Industrial Court in Lagos and Abuja. Some of the aggrieved staff have also declared a mass protest against the bank on Tuesday next week. It was learnt that the protest would be nationwide.

It was reported that because of the obvious signs of distress in the bank, a number of individuals and SMEs have closed their accounts with the bank and moved their deposits to safer banks.

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