After the surprising announcement by the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc that the financial institution would be engaging in mass retrenchment, Nigerians have reacted.
Recall that on Thursday, it was revealed that as a result of the COVID-19 distress, Nigerian commercial bank, Access Bank plans to lay off 75% of its Staff.
This was made public by the bank MD Herbert Wigwe, who spoke via video conferencing in a town hall meeting with the bank’s staff as he said those to be affected by the mass retrenchment are 75% of the bank’s staff, most of whom are outsourced and are offering “non-essential services.”
The report revealed that some branches of the bank will also be closed.
In an emotion-laden voice, Wigwe said: “We probably don’t need as many security men as required, even to the fact that we are not gonna 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.”
He added: “So that number of staff which represent 75% of our staff strength, I think, is the one we basically need to speak with their employers with a view to getting them to rationalize to the level that we think will be necessary to basically sustain a mean but actually a customer service oriented institution.”
In the video that might have been recorded by a staffer of the bank or an interested party and posted on Twitter, Wigwe also talked about professional cost, which he described as being tricky.
He continued, “The second has to do with our professional cost. Now that is one is very tricky and it is tricky because I do understand and appreciate that it is going to bring its own pain to staff. We basically have to make the adjustment the same way it sounded when we spoke ten days ago with respect to basically cutting down cost.”
In a move to show that all would be affected and that he also would not be spared, Wigwe made it clear that he would take the largest pay cut in the bank.
He said: “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 percent. The rest we would have to cascade right through the institution. Everybody may have to make some adjustments of some sort.”
Mr. Herbert Wigwe said the proposed measures are aimed at keeping the bank afloat in the face of the economic realities of COVID-19.
Following the report, Nigerians took to social media to react as many slam the commercial bank.
See reactions below,
Someone needs to speak sense to that Access bank MD. Nobody asked you to make any covid19 donations to the FG.
What’s wrong with you people donating money to the FG when we have hungry people across this Nation?
What will happen to those 75% Staff now?
— E B I T U™ (@EbituPromise) April 30, 2020
Access Bank donated 1 billion to FG.
In the name of fighting Covid19.
Then this month, they cut salaries of employees. In the name of hard times.
Donate money to people that didn’t ask.
Starve people who work for you.
What is the colour of this kind of insensitive wickedness?
— #OurFavOnlineDoc 🩺🇳🇬🇬🇧💎 (@DrOlufunmilayo) April 30, 2020
Access Bank is letting go of mostly outsourced staff such as cleaners, security guards, tellers etc. since they won’t have all their branches in operation between now and December.
People that work in non-essential services are affected.
— A. Onafuye (@FunkeOnafuye) April 30, 2020
Access bank : We are donating one billion to fight corona
Staffs: that’s why I like working with access bank
Access bank: We are sha taking it from your salary
Staffs : 👇👇 pic.twitter.com/XIEzo7dhAN
— Shitcoin Billionaire (@Benjamingold20) May 1, 2020
A pictorial representation of Access bank and other corporate bodies that donated to covid19 relief.
Lesson: Acting within your limits is not a crime. pic.twitter.com/1H8pcKoXTU
— Chidume (@NwabuwaChidume) May 1, 2020