The Banking Sector Reforms in Nigeria: Issues and Challenges for Labour-Management Relations

Benjamin J. Inyang, Rebecca O. Enuoh, Okon E. Ekpenyong


The banking industry which constitutes a strategic sector that drives the nation’s economy performs the function of financial intermediation. The series of reforms (mergers and acquisitions) in the Nigerian banking sector have tended to impact on the industrial relations system, creating anxiety and concerns for employees and the labour unions and management. This paper seeks to examine the embedded issues in labour-management relations. It further highlights the challenges arising from the reforms and finally suggests the roles that organized labour, management and government should play to achieve harmonious industrial relations in the banking sector. The paper adopts a methodology of documentary analysis and a review of the relevant literature. The study finds that the banking sector reforms brought many challenges for labour-management relations and these included among others the undermining of the principles of good industrial relations, job losses, employee turnover and loss of talents, loss of job commitment, low employee morale, casualistion of labour, etc. To re-establish robust and effective employee relations in the industry, in the post-consolidation era, the paper recommends that the union leaders undertake constant training and retraining of their members to keep a breast with best practices in labour unionism, enhancing the quality of their leadership as well as promoting and strengthening union internal democracy, among others. Management on their part must see the employees as strategic business partners in the industry, ensure effective and proper management of organisational resources, develop open and effective communication system with unions and be amenable to union suggestions to enhance the quality of employee relations. The government on her part and as an actor in the industrial relations system should make adequate provision to integrate people-issues in industry reform programmes.

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Journal of Business Administration Research

ISSN 1927-9507 (Print)      ISSN 1927-9515  (Online)

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