Apparently worried by the looming sack of bank workers and its negative implications for the banking system and the economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its Bankers’ Committee have pleaded with banks nationwide to suspend forthwith any planned retrenchment of their employees.
The anticipated massive disengagement of the workers is not unconnected to the ravaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lenders’ operations and the economy generally.
The apex bank’s Director, Corporate Communication, Isaac Okorafor, stated that the decision by the CBN was reached with the Bankers’ Committee at a special meeting of the convened on May 2, 2020.
Specifically, he stated that the meeting was convened to further review the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian banking industry.
According to him, the Committee particularly deliberated on the issue of the operating costs of banks in view of the disruptions emanating from the global economic difficulties and decided that “in order to help minimize and mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families and livelihoods, no bank in Nigeria shall retrench or lay-off any staff of any cadre (including full-time and part-time).
“To give effect to the above measure, the express approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria shall be required in the event that it becomes absolutely necessary to lay-off any such staff.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria solicits the support of all in our collective effort to weather through the economic challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic” he stated.
One of the banks, Access Bank Plc, was reported to have sent disengagement letters to some of its employees at the weekend even as others’ salaries were reportedly slashed as part of the management’s efforts to cut the lender’s operations cost.