News Investigators/ The planned sack of workers by the Access Bank Plc has been put on hold by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers’ Committee.
The CBN decision is coming on the heels of announcement by the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, that the bank was laying off 75 per cent workforce he described as non-essential workers including tellers and other employees.
He also announced that salaries would be slashed across board, including 40 per cent from his own pay.
Mr. Nwigwe’s disclosure Friday attracted wide condemnation among Nigerians, especially coming weeks after he announced a donation of N1billion largesse for the federal government committee on Covid-19.
A statement from the CBN on Sunday, however, directed a suspension of sack of workers.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Bankers’ Committee on Sunday suspended retrenchment or laying-off of any staff of banks, whether full or part time.
The CBN Director, Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor made this known in a statement in Abuja.
Mr. Okorafor explained that the decision was taken to minimise and mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families and livelihoods.
He said to give effect to this measure, the express approval of CBN must be sought in the event that it became absolutely necessary to lay-off any such staff.
Mr. Okorafor disclosed that the special meeting of the bankers’ committee was convened on Saturday where the issue of the operating costs of banks in view of the disruptions emanating from the global economic difficulties was discussed.
“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:
That “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,” it added.
President Muhammadu Buhari, speaking through the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed had earlier assured the nation that jobs would be protected against the backdrop of lockdown occasioned by the ravaging coronavirus in the country.