The planned lay-off by financial institutions in Nigeria has been suspended by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers’ Committee.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele

The move came two days after the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, announced that the bank was set to sack part of a 75 per cent workforce that 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.

A statement from the CBN today appears to have nipped the purge in the bud. This means there is a reprieve for the sacked workers.

The statement says: “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:

1. 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).

2. 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.”

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