By Shola Abayomi.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has scuttled the planned retrenchment of workers by some commercial banks in the country.
According to a statement issued on Sunday by the CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, the decision to shelve the proposed downsizing of staff in the banking sector was taken at a special meeting of the Bankers’ Committee which held on Saturday, May 2.
It was gathered that the financial institutions had in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic fine-tuned plans to lay off some workers as part of cost-cutting measures to compensate for the global economic hardship occasioned by the viral infection.
Ahead of the reopening of commercial operations in some parts of the country which allows banks operate from Monday, May 4, the CBN had in a meeting with the banks urged them to review the economic impact the proposed action would have on workers and their families.
Okorafor’s statement read: “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.”