CBN halts moves by banks to lay off staff

Following the planned sacking of some employees of Access Bank Plc, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bankers’ Committee have stepped in to stem the sacking tide hovering over the country’s banking sector.

The disclosure was made via a press statement by the apex bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okoroafor, after the Bankers’ Committee held a special meeting to take a critical look at the impact coronavirus pandemic was having on the industry.

The committee agreed that no staff should be asked to go unless it became absolutely necessary, but with the approval of the regulator.

The statement reads, “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:

“To help minimise and mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 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 CBN shall be required in the event that it becomes absolutely necessary to lay off any such staff.”

The apex bank’s intervention became necessary after Access Bank was reported to have taken the “difficult decision” of sacking about 75 per cent of it workforce in a bid to “protect our franchise and make us stronger as we go into the future.”

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