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Emefiele, bank officials to appear before Senate over massive sack

Following the gale of massive sack that is currently sweeping the banking industry, the Senate has summoned the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr Godwin Emefiele and top managements of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), to explain what necessitated the incessant downsizing of workforce among the Nigerian lenders.

The summons came after the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, threatened on Tuesday to withdraw the licence of any bank that further sacks its employees.

But the Senate said it would investigate the threat, with a point of order raised on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday by Rafiu Ibrahim, Chairman Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions.

The Daily Times of Nigeria notes that the federal government had since last Friday issued a directive, urging banks to halt the retrenchment of workers, but some banks allegedly went on with the exercise.

Skye bank on the 6th of June, laid off 300 of its staff, disregarding the Federal government directive to all banks to halt all retrenchment exercise. According to the management of the bank, the sacking of 300 of its workers was because the affected staff failed in their 2015 appraisal.

The affected workers got to work only to be handed their termination of appointment letters and severance packages.

Last week, Ecobank fired 1040 of its staff while Diamond bank sacked 200 members of its staff.

It would be recalled that the mass sack commenced with the retrenchment of over 1,400 workers by Ecobank and Diamond Bank.

In the first quarter of 2015, Diamond Bank sacked over 1,000 workers in what it dubbed as a realignment of its operations for a tougher 2015.

With the bank’s Profit Before Tax (PBT) for the year ended December 2015, dropping to N7.1billion from N28.10billion in 2014. Its Profit After Tax (PAT) stood at N5.66bn, down from N25.49bn it achieved in 2014.

The bank, in a statement said: “In the bank’s last appraisal, only 200 staff whose performance scorecards were adjudged to be lower than the minimum required to drive its strategic growth plan for the business year were relieved. With its trim-and-fit workforce, the bank is sure to meet its target for the current business year.”

The explanation offered by the Diamond Bank, of course, was not different from those given by Charles Kie, the managing director of the Ecobank, who said in a statement that the bank has realigned certain roles to ensure improved efficiency.

The development, however, he said, has necessitated the exit of some staffers.

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) recorded a dip of 68 per cent in profit after tax (PAT) for the year ended December 31, 2015. The audited results of the bank showed that profit before tax (PBT) declined from N86.4bn in 2014 to N40.6bn in 2015. PAT dipped from N65.7bn to N21.25bn.

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