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Nigerian bankers called to strike on 5 and 6 September 2023, but planned closures unrelated to the presidential election tribunal

IN SHORT: Claims are flying around on Facebook that Nigerian banks will be closed for two days due to the election tribunal decision on the 2023 presidential election. Banks are closing for the two days, but it’s unrelated to the election tribunal, and Lagos banks remain in operation.

A Facebook post published 5 September 2023 claims that “banks will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday” ahead of the final announcement of the election tribunal in the presidential election. This would refer to Tuesday 5 September and Wednesday 6 September.

The post includes a blurry screenshot of what appears to be a letter of memorandum from the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Employees (Nubifie).

The final decision of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) is to be made on 6 September. There have been several claims circulating on social media surrounding the presidential election petition. 

Similar claims can be found here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But will banks be closed on Wednesday 6 September? We checked.


Missing context – bankers called to strike

The closure of banks across the country would be newsworthy. But the absence of reports on this in the media would be a red flag.

On investigation, we found reports that bankers were joining the two-day National Labour Congress (NLC) strike and so wouldn’t be offering services to Nigerians as usual.

The NLC announced a two-day warning strike over economic hardship in the country. 

The memo attached to the post was issued by the Nubufie to call on members to join the NLC strike.

However, at time of publication banks were in operation in the city of Lagos and Lagosians could make use of banking services, as bankers appeared to ignore the NLC call to strike. Furthermore, any closure of banks has nothing to do with the PEPC decision on the 2023 presidential election.

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