Despite the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) warning against mass retrenchment, the banking sector in 2020 laid off 8,584 employees.
The layoff occurred in commercial banks; merchant banks; and non-interest banks.
According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released on Sunday, the banking sector reduced its total headcount by 8.2 percent to 95,026 last year from 103,610 as of December 2019.
Breakdown of the data showed 63.5 percent of the retrenched staff where on contract as headcount dropped to 39,798 from 45,350 the previous year indicating 12.2 percent or 5,454 were asked to go home.
NBS data also showed banks sacked 2,306 of their junior staff, leaving only 37,590 as of December 2020 compared to 39,896 in the same period the previous year.
Furthermore, 799 senior staff were relieved of their duties as senior staff headcount reduced to 17,381 from 18,180 the previous year.
Despite the mass sacking, the number of executive staff increased to 257 from 184 as of December 2019.
Last year, during the height of the lockdown, banking sector employees raised an alarm on the plan of the massive sack by their employers.
The concern caught the attention of the Central bank of Nigeria, with assurances that there will be no sack except it is absolutely necessary. But it seems it made little or no impact.
In a statement titled: “CBN, Bankers’ Committee Suspend Staff Lay-Offs in Banks,” the bank ordered the immediate suspension of such plans.
It read: “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).”
Recently Ripples Nigeria checked into the 2020 financials of Access Bank, United Bank for Africa, Guaranty Trust Bank, First Bank, Union Bank, and First City Monument Bank and analysis showed the cut-down in full-time staff.
United Bank of Africa reduced staff strength from 13,237 in 2019 to 10,838 last year.
Guaranty Trust Bank disengaged 412 workers as its staff strength fell from 5,606 in 2019 to 5,194 last year.
First bank also sent home 674 of its employees as its staff numbers dropped from 9,016 in 2019 to 8,342 last year.
Just as First City Monument Bank reduced its staff strength from 3,893 to 3,619 after disengaging 283 employees in 2020.
Access bank staff strength dropped from 6,898 in 2019 to 6,781 in 2020, while Union Bank dropped from 2,362 to 2,342.