Only 673 or (1.09 per cent) additional hands were employed by the banking industry between January and October. This falls far short of the 5 per cent staff increase demanded by the Labour and Employment Minister, Major-General Ike Nwachukwu when he enlisted the support of banks in the fight against unemployment at the beginning of the year.
Republic investigations showed that 325 of the new hands were recruited by the new banks which came into operation during the course of the year.
It was gathered that banking industry had a staff strength of 62,963 as at October a slight increase on last year‚Äôs figure which stood at 61,270. The apex bank, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, which had 7,175 staff in 1986 cut down to 6,766 by October this year.
Investigations further revealed that while employment was trimmed down in the industry, net earnings increased t an all high record figure of N2.15 billion.
Total employee figures in banks when of CBN is added stood at 69,729 persons. If banks were to comply with the minster‚Äôs call they would have employed a total of 3,477 person, in 1987.
A breakdown of the employment figures showed that Union Bank has the highest employees figures of 10,735 and a net earnings of N342,177,000.
First Bank of Nigeria followed with staff strength of 9,675 and net earnings of about N286,716,000. The bank branches throughout the country rose to 233.
United Bank for Africa, UBA, placed third with an employee figure of 7,194 net earning of 7,194 net earning of N259,069,000 and branch bank figure of 136.
Of the indigenous banks, African Continental Bank has the highest number of employees totalling 4,442 and 100 branches spread across the country.
National Bank of Nigeria has a total employee of 3,661 with 96 branches.
Bank of the North has 3,219 staffers in its staff in the 70 branches it has.
Other banks employees figures are IBWA 2,1546, New Nigeria Bank 1,362, Savannah Bank 1,645, Wema Bank 1,066.
Cooperative Bank employed 1,745 persons. The Cooperative and Commerce Bank has employee figures of 1,779.
According to The Republic investigation in each cases only very few hands were employed inspite of the banking sector.
Top government functionaries expressed concern over banks refusal to employ new hands and open up new branches in rural areas. They see banks as neglecting their social responsibility to assist the state in combating unemployment.