The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) have been ordered by the National Industrial Court sitting in Lagos, to pay over N5.7bn terminal benefits to over 1,000 bank workers affected by the re-capitalisation exercise of 2006.
The affected workers whose banks did not meet the recapitalization requirements, leading to their banking licenses being revoked by the CBN which appointed the NDIC as the liquidator, approached the court in 2018, years after the consolidation exercise of 2006 which saw banks recapitalised from N2bn to N25bn.
While bank workers who sued the two organisations demanding the payment of their terminal benefits, the CBN and NDIC raised several objections, insisting among other things that they were not the employers of the workers and the suit disclosed no cause of action against them.
Justice Paul Bassi who delivered judgment on Monday May 23, in the case filed by 1,116 claimants who had approached the court, dismissed the preliminary objections of the defendants and held that while they may have acted in the general good by raising the capital base of banks in the country, it should not be done at the expense of the former employees.
He noted that by revoking the banking licenses of the non-consolidated banks, the defendants interfered with the employment contracts of the bank workers, a contract which would ordinarily have run its natural course with the claimants paid their benefits at the end.
The court then ordered the CBN and the NDIC to pay the workers N5.7bn within three months from the date of judgment, failure to which would attract 10 percent interest until liquidated.
The court also ordered the CBN and the NDIC to pay another N10m as general damages to the claimants.