The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given a stern warning to all banks in Nigeria to seek its approval before sacking more than five staff. The bank gave the warning in a communique released through the Bankers Committee after its meeting last weekend.
The committee, in a circular signed by Director, Financial Markets Department, CBN, Angela Sere-Ejembi, emphasized that all banks should send a sample of Contract Letter issued to outsourced staff + SLA with the company being used to run outsourced staff.
It stated, “Banks should note and be guided by the CBN circular in respect of laying off staff that is more than five. This requires apex bank’s notification and approval going forward.”
The Bankers’ Committee had said the mass sacking in banks would be reduced in the shortest time possible.
The committee noted that while it was working on how to reduce the level of job losses in the sector, there would always be reasons people would have to be sacked from their workplaces.
It explained that while the decision to sack bank workers had elicited a lot of sentiments from both the public and private sectors, the banks understood the implications of having to relieve workers of their jobs in view of the current economic situation in the country.
Early January, one of the largest banks in the country started the new year with the sack of about 2,000 staff in one fell swoop. Although the bank denied the story when contacted, the social media were awash with the news at the weekend. If the report were true, it would have served as a reminiscent to a similar incident of last year when the same number of staff were laid off in January, May and July by Ecobank Nigeria Limited.
Several Nigerian banks are in the habit of arbitrarily disengaging thousands of their staff at very short notices. While some would be served their dismissal letters without severance packages, others were not that lucky, as they were not informed officially but got blocked from accessing the bank’s server. For instance, most of the Ecobank Nigeria Plc workers under the auspices of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE), shut down the headquarters of the bank following the disengagement of about 1200 workers in July last year. The workers, with their placards, took to the bank’s head office to protest their disengagement, insisting that the employer should pay them commensurate benefits.