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COVID-19: 75% of Access Bank staff face sack as it slashes workers’ salaries

Access Bank Plc has notified its staff of its decision to cut salaries to avoid job cut as a lockdown to contain the coronavirus hampers the operations of Nigeria’s biggest lender.

Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe who is from Omueke Isiokpo is a Nigerian banker and entrepreneur.
He is currently CEO and Group managing director of Access Bank plc, one of Nigeria’s top five banking institutions, after succeeding his business partner, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede in January 2014.

However, Herbert Onyewunmbu Wigwe has taken to an Instagram page to announce that 75% of Staff Lay Off & Salaries Cut, he emphasizes on the resumption of some staff, the ones that are necessary for now.

A report by Bloomberg indicated that the salary cut is expected to start from May unless business conditions improve, said the people, who were briefed on the matter during a conference call and asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak publicly. “Some management will get as much as a 40% decrease.” they said. A staff of the bank, who spoke to newsmen on the condition of anonymity said: “We were only informed on Wednesday that we will take a pay cut and that has dampened the spirit of most staff but it is better than a sack. “They told us that we are currently living in an uncertain time and the bank is challenged in many front haven only recently acquired another bank and managing the risk acquired”, the staff added. The bank’s Head, Corporate Communications, Ogechi Nwoye, could not be reached for comment as he did not respond to call and text message send to his phone.
Nigerian banks are 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 that has shuttered businesses. Access Bank, which acquired Diamond Bank Plc last year, had 6,898 permanent staff at the end of 2019, according to a presentation on annual report.
The acquisition partly contributed to a 31% increase in operating expenses. Personnel, recruitment and training costs account for more than a third of overheads after the deal boosted employee numbers and resulted in “wage harmonization” across the businesses.

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