The bank chief executive officers under the aegis of the Bankers’ Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has promised to reduce the rate mass sack in banks.

The committee stated this at the end of its 327th meeting held at the headquarters of the CBN in Abuja, yesterday.

Addressing journalists shortly after the meeting, managing director, Standard Chartered Bank, Mrs Bola Adelola, said the mass sack in the sector was discussed at the meeting and that the banks going forward would minimise the issue of job losses.

The committee also disclosed that banks would soon commence the National Collateral Registry (NCR), which would allow the use of assets such as cars, refrigerators, mobile phones among others, as collateral for loans, if they are registered.

Other members of the committee present at the media briefing are the director, Banking Supervision, CBN, Mrs Tokunbo Martins; managing director, United Bank for Africa Plc, Mr Phillips Odouza, and managing director, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mr Emeka Emuwa.

On the issue of mass sack, Adesola added that while the banks understood the economic situation in the country, there would always be reasons for workers to be relieved of their jobs.

She said, “On the recent news item on retrenchment. That we also discussed;we touched on it and obviously banks understand the implications of people not being in employment.We know what the situation is like in the country.

“And so we are looking at ways of ensuring that we minimise many exit from our institutions. There will always be exit as you know because there is fraud and so on and so forth.

“People will exit institutions and as a matter of fact it’s something we discussed in the past where the governor prevailed on the banks to minimise any exit from the institutions.

“So we’ve noted the market sentiments and am sure that going forward it will be different.”

Speaking further on the financial inclusion strategy,Martins said that the rate of Nigerians that were financially included in the financial sector has risen to 60.5 per cent.

She added that the plan of the committee was to ensure that the six million additional people were captured into the financial system before the end of this year noting that if achieved, the 80 per cent financial inclusion strategy target would have been achieved by 2020.

“As at today, we have a financial inclusion rate of 60.5 per cent, and you will recall that the target is that by 2020 we should have 80 per cent of the population included.

“So the CBN has agreed targets with the commercial banks and also Microfinance banks and by the end of this year, 2016, we hope to increase the inclusion rate by eight per cent,” she said.

— OkoroChukwu IkeChukwu ( Correspondent)