…Banks must obtain approval before lay-off
Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN has ordered commercial banks in the country to suspend any plans to lay off employees.
Reports of bank laying off workers or planning to downsize to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 have been rife, with one of Nigeria’s largest lenders, Access Bank reportedly laying off thousands of contract workers.
But the CBN in a circular on Sunday directed all banks to shelve any plans of laying off workers due to COVID-19.
“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),” said the CBN in the circular.
The apex bank said it issued the directive after an “emergency special meeting with the Bankers’ Committee on Saturday, May 2, 2020, to further review the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian banking industry, where the Committee particularly deliberated on the issue of the operating costs of banks in view of the disruptions emanating from the global economic difficulties”.
The CBN further stated in the circular that “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”.