*Warns Buhari against policy by impulse*
A pro-Democracy Non-governmental organisation – Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA)
has alleged that behind the facade of the need to instill transparency and accountability as claimed by the President for forcefully enforcing the single accounts policy for all Federal agencies lays a well plotted landmines aimed at crippling the banking sector because of perceived dominance of investors from Southern Nigeria in the ownership hierarchy of the banks.
Besides the pro-transparency Non-Governmental body HURIWA has cautioned against hasty implementation of the TSA directive by federal agencies because of the inevitable mass retrenchment of bank workers that would follow the pull out of huge public funded deposits in most of the commercial banks for onward transfer to the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN].
HURIWA said unemployment that will soon sweep across the Banking horizon has no regional immunity as every family would be affected thereby rubbishing the real evil intentions which actually guided the TSA policy in the first instance. “This policy is like throwing a stone in a market place without knowing whether it will actually harm the Mother of the stone thrower”.
HURIWA has accused the Arewa Consultative forum [ACF] and an erstwhile Central Bank Chief now a traditional ruler in a prominent northern Emirate for plotting g to undermine the economy by successfully convincing President Muhammadu Buhari to flow along with their plot by introducing single accounts for all Federal agencies to be domiciled in the CBN with the subterranean tendencies to precipitate the collapse of the banks and weakening the alleged lopsided ownership of the banking institutions by persons perceived to be Southerners.
HURIWA in a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf said it has it on good authority that this current irrational and impulsive policy of single account formed a fulcrum of the economic blueprints allegedly handed over to the new President upon assumption of office by some regional hawks from the Northern Nigerian based Arewa Consultative forum who now has its erstwhile General Secretary Colonel Hamid Ali (rtd) as the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service.
Fearing that this single account policy has started yielding it’s downsides by way of mass retrenchment of bankers by commercial banks the Rights group has called for a review of this policy to forestall the eventual compounding of the dire economic hardship afflicting millions of Nigerian households.
Any Government policy that churns out youth unemployment must be discarded because it is inherently unconstitutional and illegal for government to create joblessness rather than gainful jobs.
“The President must be cautioned to stop the implementation of a hasty policy designed only for regional vendetta and targeted at economically weakening some investors only because they come from the Southern segments of Nigeria and by so doing exposing the Nigerian economy to large scale unemployment and job cuts which will inevitably affect every home because virtually every family has someone who works in the banking institution or depends on income from someone else who works in the bank.
Since President Muhammadu Buhari announced this Single Account policy a lot of bank workers especially the youths have lost their jobs.
Zenith Bank, according to HURIWA has allegedly downsized its staff strength even as other commercial banks are about now bringing out their anti-employment policies because of the adverse effects of the withdrawal of huge funds by government agencies and the closing of these accounts for subsequent transfer to Central Bank of Nigeria.
“This policy will further expand the frontiers of social crimes and vices of youth prostitution and violent criminal activities since the idle mind is the devil’s workshop. The Federal government must review this directive because pulling out government funds from banks will backfire because interest rates for borrowings will skyrocket since there will be scarcity of funds from which to lend to small, medium scale and large scale entrepreneurs in Nigeria and this would stifle the manufacturing and job sectors.
“If Government is desirous of tightening its financial dealings then it should effectively strengthen the office of auditors in the Federation so these offices engage globally acclaimed forensic auditors that can have greater autonomy to more independently monitor financial transactions of government agencies.
“TSA is a vote -of -no confidence on auditors because why waste resources to maintain the office of auditor general of the Federation who isn’t competent and professionally independent-minded and competent to track financial dealings by government at all levels?”
The Rights group said it is frightening that President Muhammadu Buhari is going ahead with this Ill advised TSA policy that will knock off virtually 70 percent of the extant total amount in the nation’s money market liquidity.
HURIWA stated thus: “The report that N2.6 trillion of government cash in 20,000 bank accounts in commercial banks would be gone by this weekend in compliance with the Presidential directive on The Single Account is retrogressive and anti-development.
“The Nigerian State must stop the implementation of this policy for now until the fuller details of the consequences to the local economy is debated and determined.
“Since it has emerged that the N1.24 trillion estimate made in the second quarterly report by CBN as the amount to be taken away if the policy is fully implemented is patently false then Mr President must halt its implementation because any policy whose Foundation is inherently fraudulent and laced with mundane sentiments cannot stand the test of time and can’t pass the credibility test”.