Following the recent move by employers to sack their workers due to the current economic challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has directed banks not to lay off their workers.
The call by the CBN followed speculations about the planned move by some banks to sack their workers as the pandemic bites hard on the sector.
The CBN, on Sunday, through its Bankers’ Committee, ordered the immediate suspension of such plans by banks in the country.
Isaac Okoroafor, the spokesperson of the apex bank, in a statement, said the order was given at the end of a special meeting of the Bankers’ Committee held on May 2 to further review the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian banking industry.
The statement titled: “CBN, Bankers’ Committee Suspend Lay-offs in Banks,” reads:
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.
The recent decision to lay off workers in various sectors especially banking has been greeted with a lot of criticism as Nigerians called on employers to shelve the action as there are no available employment opportunities amidst the current global health challenge.
See copy of press release below: