CBN, bankers committee orders Access Bank, others to Suspend mass sack: THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ordered Access bank Nigeria and other financial institutions to suspend lay-offs and recall already sacked workers.
FINANCIAL WATCH had earlier reported that Access Bank Nigeria has notified staff especially the non-essential workers of planned massive lay-off which will affect about 70% of the bank’s workforce.
The Central Bank in a swift reaction reversed the decision to sack the bank workers, according to Isaac Okorafor, Director, Corporate Communications; “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”.
Meanwhile, Access Bank has urged its customers and the general public to disregard social media report of its shutting 340 branches nationwide.
Responding to Daily Sun enquiry, its Media Relations officer, Mr Abdul Imoyo, says the online report is misleading.
According to him, “branches were closed at the onset of the COVID-19 lockdown.
As the structure of the lockdown has been relaxed, the branches will be reopened in a phased approach and with adherence to physical distancing guidelines.
“We advised the public when we closed over 540 branches (60 left to operate) in response to our business continuity plan for crisis of this nature. This was further buttressed by the Lagos State and subsequently the FGN’s stay-at-home or work from home order.
With the proposed lifting of that order from May 4th, we recognise that the threat of the virus is still out there and are planning to do a phased opening of the branches. So yes an additional 200 branches (bringing the total to 260) would be opened in the first phase.
The staff at the frontline are also people’s sons, daughters, wives, husbands e.t.c and we have to be very mindful how we expose them.
So staff would also be rotated. We have however made arrangements to pair the branches so customers whose branches are yet to be opened can be served from an alternate branch and those messages are going out to customers over this weekend and by Monday.”