Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has thrown its full support on the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on its directive to commercial banks to publish names of chronic debtors of the banks, admitting that the move would strengthen the economy.
The publication of the names of debtors, which had attracted different reactions from the concerned firms, is coming on the heels of the July 31, 2015 deadline set by the apex bank for the debtors to pay up.
The debtors are to be blacklisted and banned from participating in the foreign exchange market, as well as trading in the Nigerian Government Securities market.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, the General Secretary of NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson said that the commercial banks did the “right” thing by complying with the CBN directive to publish names of their debtors, which they said has the capacity to collapse the banks.
Dr. Ozo-Eson said that it would be inimical to the country’s economic growth for anyone to owe banks millions of naira without a thought or concrete plans to pay back.
“I think the central bank of Nigeria, CBN, has done well by directing commercial banks to publish the names of debtors because it is not good for anyone to borrow money and not pay back as it endangers the economy” he said.
Ozo-Eson also said that the banks’ refusal to accept lodgments of’ dollar into domiciliary accounts has both negative and positive effects on the economy. These accounts can be funded through travelers cheque, lodgment of foreign currency cheque, cash inflows and cash deposits.
The NLC General Secretary said that the policy would make the operations and regulations of the foreign exchange transactions in Nigeria difficult, as well as impossible for honest Nigerians to engage in free trade and regulate their personal activities.
On the devaluation of the naira, he said it would have an obvious negative impact on the common man as prices of goods and services would rise significantly.
“Devaluation of the naira is not a good thing to a common man on the street, it makes products and food items like rice, imported clothing materials, and imported cars more expensive. It also drains the pockets of the common man. We begin to wonder, therefore, whether we are not heading back to the era of import duty licenses and regulation of commodity prices,” he said.