Central Bank of Nigeria and Bankers’ Committee order banks not to lay-off any staff

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers’ Committee have ordered all banks in the country not to sack or lay-off of any staff of any cadre (including full-time or part-time). The apex bank also instructed that its approval must be sought if it becomes absolutely necessary to lay-off any any staff.

Central Bank of Nigeria Committee

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the CBN’s Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor on May 3, 2020. 

 He explained that the decision was taken at a special meeting of the Bankers’ Committee convened on Saturday, 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. 

CBN solicits the support of all in our collective effort to weather through the economic challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a related development, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has also given a stern warning to all banks that they must seek its consent if they must sack more than five staff.This was stated in the communique released by the Bankers Committee after its meeting on Friday.

The committee, in a circular signed by Director, Financial Markets Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, Angela Sere-Ejembi, emphasized that all banks should send sample of Contract Letter issued to outsourced staff and the Service Level Agreement, SLA with the company being used to run outsourced staff.

It stated that "Banks should note and be guided by the CBN Circular on laying off of staff of more than five. This would require CBN notification and approval henceforth".

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 of the economy, the banks understood the implications of having to relieve workers of their jobs in view of the current economic situation in the country.

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