Nigeria Banks Join The New Normal – Reduction of Manpower As Tech Deepens

Nigeria Banks Join The New Normal – Reduction of Manpower As Tech Deepens

It is here – Nigerian banks begin sustained reduction of manpower: “According to the report, the staff strength of the banks reduced by 2,929 in the quarter with 101,435 total staff as against the 104,364 recorded in the second quarter of the year.” Those things people write on the impacts of data analytics (and AI) are coming home. Yet, we are still at infancy on this redesign. With the chatbots, ATMs and mobile apps, the digital species  will take over from homo sapiens and jobs would be lost in the banking sector.

Even as the Nigerian government continued to promise to reduce unemployment, the workforce of Deposit Money Banks in the country reduced by 2,929 workers in the third quarter of 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics reports.

The figure is contained in a report on ‘Selected Banking Sector Data: Sectoral Breakdown of Credit, ePayment Channels and Staff Strength data’ posted on the NBS website.

According to the report, the staff strength of the banks reduced by 2,929 in the quarter with 101,435 total staff as against the 104,364 recorded in the second quarter of the year. This represents a 2.81 per cent decrease.

It would be a massive dislocation because Nigeria’s economy is relatively small to offer good options when one has lost a job in banking, oil & gas, and telecoms. These are the top three sectors that employ decent numbers and pay well.

If you look at the total assets of our banks, we have lost more than 57% of workers, by asset per staff, between 2009 and today. In other words, banks have ramped up assets but without any need of hiring more people. In a way it is a good thing, as it means the bank are getting more efficient on the utilization of factors of production.

Nonetheless, there may not be need to be fearful – when new technologies come, jobs are lost, and new better ones are always created. That has been the case since the industrial revolution when farmers lost their farm jobs in Western Europe, and moved to factories which offered them better living standards. I do expect that redesign to happen provided people are open to be retrained for the jobs of the future.

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