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COVID-19: After donating 1bn to FG; Access Bank slashes Staff Salaries, Retrench 75% Of Workers

Some days after Access Bank Plc donated one billion Naira to the Federal Government of Nigeria in order to fight COVID-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus Pandemic, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, on Friday, May 1, has said the bank may sack some of its members of staff as a result of the negative impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic which had so far affected about 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory had led to unprecedented drop in global crude oil prices.

So far, total lockdown had been announced by the President Muhammadu Buhari in three states of Lagos, Ogun, Kano and the FCT.

While the President had announced the lockdown of these three states and the FCT, other state governments have also announced curfew in their states to complement the effort of the Federal Government.

These developments have paralyzed economic activities, and led to loss of incomes to businesses and households.

Wigwe, while speaking during a video conference with some members of staff of the bank said that some of the bank branches would not be fully operational between now and December as a result of the pandemic.

He said the implications of the closure of these branches were that the bank might not need the services of some of its essential workers.

He said the essential workers such as cleaners, security men, tea girls and others constituted about 75 per cent of the bank’s workforce.

The MD said, “If there is one thing that has come out of this while lockdown period is the fact that digital is the way forward. “We do not need the same complementary staff to take to where we are going.

“It also shown that job essential services particularly outsourced staff will not necessarily be at the levels that would be required.

“We probably don’t need as many securitymen as required, even to the fact that we are not going to have all our branches open between now and December. “

“We don’t need all the tea girls. We don’t need all the cleaners. We don’t need all the tellers etcetera, etcetera.”

Wigwe said he would take the lead in having largest pay cut of 40 per cent.

“I will be the first to take the hit and I’m gonna take the largest pay cut, which would be as much as 40 per cent.

“The rest we would have to cascade right through the institution. Everybody may have to make some adjustments of some sort.”

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Sade Adewale

Sade Adewale is an experienced editor. She Studied Sociology at the Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti. Diploma in Journalism in Lateef Jakande House, Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos State. Contact: sadeadewale14@gmail.com

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