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No bank should sack, retrench staff – CBN

By Monsuru Olowoopejo

Following panic among the staff of commercial banks over plans by their employers to downsize their establishment sty afloat during COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has directed banks to desist from retrenching or sacking any of their employees in the country.

CBN added that rather than retrenching or laying off staff over present economic challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, the commercial banks should retain every employee irrespective of their status in the company.

The directives came hours after some commercial banks including Access Bank, were said to have announced plans to sack its workers as a result of the negative impact of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The Apex Bank, in a statement signed by its Director, Corporate Communication, Isaac Okorafor, and made available to The Guild on Sunday, hinted that the agreement to shelve the planned retrenchment and sack was reached during a bankers’ committee meeting on Saturday, May 2, 2020.

CBN argued that allowing the bank to embark on the planned action could further dealt a huge blow on the country’s economy which was already battling to regain its previous status before the pandemic hit the country.

The bank said: “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 disruption emanating from the global economic difficulties and decided as follows:

“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).

“The Central bank of Nigeria solicits the support of all our collective effort to weather through the economic challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic”, the statement added.

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