Contrary to the viral video and reports circulating on social media platforms, Access Bank has debunked claim of reducing workforce by 75% as well as closing over 340 branches in Nigeria.
The bank’s spokeperson, Mr Abdul Imoyo stated this in a telephone conversation with Business Remarks on Sunday.
Recall, Access Bank fell victim of fierce online backlash over the weekend after a video of the Group’s General Managing Director/ CEO, Herbert Wigwe, talking about layoffs and pay cuts
Wigwe lamented the disruption caused by the highly infectious coronavirus, and said the bank will not need as many workers as it currently has on its payroll. He said this will need significant trimming to balance the books.
Wigwe went further on the pay cuts, noting adjustments will have to be made to cut down on operational costs, starting with a 40% pay cut of his own income.
However, Imoyo stressed while speaking with Business Remarks that there will be no closure of branches or downsizing.
According to him, the reports are misleading and not true
In his words, “We are not laying off our staff. The video did not mention laying of any staff. We are only rationalising our staff.
“We are only making some adjustments in the operational costs. Since some of the branches are closed, what happens then to the drivers, cleaners, security men and so on. We are only discussing on rationalising with the outsourcing firm to see how we can rotate the workers.
“As the structure of the lockdown has been relaxed, the branches will be reopened in a phased approach and with adherence to physical distancing guidelines.”, he noted.
Furthermore, as the Coronavirus pandemic has left many individuals, businesses, and even countries incapacitated, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has taking steps to forestall a major crisis in the country.
In a special meeting convened with the Bankers’ Committee on May 2, 2020, the apex stated, “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.”