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Nigeria suspends layoffs for banks despite difficult times

Commercial lenders will have to seek approval from the central bank to implement job cuts

The Central Bank of Nigeria has barred banks in the country from implementing layoffs in an effort to offset the impact of the Cover-19 pandemic. It is certain that the pandemic is affecting households the economies at large on national and global levels.

The central bank has suspended layoffs by commercial lenders. Under all circumstances, these banks will have to seek approval from the central bank to further slash jobs during this time, media reports said.

It is reported that Nigerian banks previously required the central bank’s approval only while implementing layoffs for senior management. Now the scenario has changed with the pandemic hard-hitting the economy.

Prior to the current pandemic, the country took a long time to shake off the impact of the 2016 recession. This implies that it might seek a similar recovery period in a post-pandemic world. Recent reports said Access Bank Nigeria plans to cut salaries to prevent job loss.

Herbert Wigwe, the bank’s Group Managing Director and CEO, said in a statement, “As an employer of over 30,000 employees, our employees are our greatest assets. We understand how difficult these times are and we determined to ensure that our staff is still in employment.”

In line with the central bank’s move, Access Bank is making necessary adjustments to restructure salaries, media reports said. Also, the bank is addressing issues related to high operating expenses and is taking important measures to ensure expenses are lowered significantly. The impact of the pandemic has affected all sectors and the central bank’s decision to suspend layoffs in the banking sector is notable.

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