The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has made lay-offs in the banking sector illegal: “no bank in Nigeria shall retrench or lay-off any staff of any cadre (including full-time and part-time…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.” Access Bank which plans to fire within 75% of its workforce will now need to open a new playbook now.
The full statement below
“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:
“1. In order to help minimize and mitigate the negative impact of the COVID- 19 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.
“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.”
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