12th January, 2012
As the nationwide strike against the removal of fuel subsidy enters its fourth day, some banks have started running skeletal “secret” services in and around Jos, the Plateau capital.
Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who went round some of the banks, report that some staff reported for duty but that the gates were still locked.
NAN, however, observed that customers could make withdrawals by “arranging” with some staff of the bank, especially the security personnel.
Customers who could reach the personal telephone numbers of some bank staff, were also able to make transactions.
At a branch of one of the new generation banks along Ahmadu Bello Way, vehicles were not allowed to enter, but NAN correspondents were advised to “turn to the gate behind” if they wanted any transaction.
The situation was the same in Bukuru as customers were secretly served, if they could enter through the back gates of the banks.
A senior staff of one of the banks, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the main gates were being locked because of threats to picket the banks by labour leaders.
“You can see that even our cars are parked far away. We do not want the labour officials to know we are in the office.”
NAN recalls that Plateau NLC Chairman Jibrin Bancir had warned on Tuesday that the labour officials would picket any office found to be open.
Bancir had vowed that the strike would continue until the Federal Government reversed the fuel pump price to N65 per litre.
NAN reports that the union picketed some filling stations which were dispensing fuel around the Terminus area of Jos.
The labour union’s action, has however, not deterred some filling stations from carrying out their businesses as many of them were seen dispensing the commodity on Wednesday.