Just In: CBN Directs Banks To Halt Staff Lay-Off

Godwin Emefiele, Central Bank of Nigeria Governor
Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and banks in the country have agreed to shelf the planned sack of workers in the banking sector as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

This was announced in a statement signed by the apex bank’s Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor on Sunday. 

The statement read;

A special meeting of the Bankers’ Committee was convened on May 2, 2020, to further review the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian banking industry. 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 as follows:

In order to help minimize and mitigate the negative impact of the COVID19 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.

This decision comes two days after the Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Herbert hinted that the bank would cut down its staff strength by 75%.

Wigwe made this known during a video conferencing town hall meeting with the bank’s staff on Friday. 

This news led to an outcry from Nigerians, appealing for a reconsideration and re-evaluation from the bank.

The appeal came despite the bank giving reasons for the planned mass retrenchment –  COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown in the country. 

Wigwe on Friday explained that those to be affected by the mass retrenchment are 75% of the bank’s staff, most of whom are outsourced and are offering “non-essential services”.

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