Access Bank PLC

‘Don’t Lay Off Any Staff’, CBN Tells Nigerian Banks

First Bank Nigeria

The bankers committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria has agreed that plans to lay off staff would be suspended.

This was announced in a statement signed by Isaac Okorafor, CBN director of corporate communications, on Sunday.

A meeting of the bankers committee was reported to have held on Saturday, May 2, to review the effect of the coronavirus on the banking industry.

According to the statement, it was also agreed that banks would need the express approval of the CBN to lay off any staff.

“The committee particularly deliberated on the issue of the operating costs of banks in view of the disruptions emanating from the global economic difficulties,” the statement read.

“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).

“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.”

In a video that went viral on social media, Herbert Wigwe, chief executive officer of Access Bank, had hinted that the bank would have to lay off some staff and implement a salary cut.

Wigwe said he would take a 40 percent salary cut.

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