The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks not to sack any cadre of staff.
The decision was taken after a special meeting of the bankers’ committee held on Saturday to review the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian banking industry.
A statement signed by CBN spokesman, Isaac Okorafor, on Sunday said he committee particularly deliberated on the issue of the operating costs of banks in view of the disruptions emanating from the global economic difficulties.
According to Mr Okorafor, the meeting decided as follows:
“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).
“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 statement added that the CBN “solicits the support of all in our collective effort to weather through the economic challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Nigerian banks are currently facing the threat of rising bad-debt levels as a crash in oil prices and the risk of a naira devaluation coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic.