- Access Bank to Cut 75% of its Staff Despite Posting N40.92bn Profit in Q1 2020
Access Bank, one of Nigeria’s leading banks, has announced plans to cut down on staff considered as ‘non-essential staff’ to better manage operational costs and the impact of COVID-19 on the organization despite reporting N40.92 billion in the quarter ended March 31, 2020.
In a short video, Herbert Wigwe, the group managing director, Access Bank, said the proposed mass retrenchment would affect 75 percent of bank’s staff, largely those who were employed via outsourcing firms and offering non-essential services.
“We probably don’t need as many securitymen 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,” Wigwe stated via video conferencing.
This was after the bank donated N1 billion to CACOVID to help support the government’s efforts at curbing the spread of COVID-19 that has now risen to 2170, with over 60 percent of the total confirmed cases recorded this past week.
Nigeria’s unemployment presently stood at 23.1 percent with Investors King’s projecting it could rise as much as 30 percent by the end of this year if the federal government failed to strategically stimulate the economy and go after private businesses likely to use the pandemic to their advantage.
Access bank and other heavy tech-dependent businesses have now realised that they do not need as much staff to operate, thanks to the COVID-19 lockdown. Therefore, they are likely to use COVID-19 excuse to cut jobs, enhance profitability and substantially reduce operating costs, especially after the federal government mandated banks to seek approval before sacking more than five staff.
“The second has to do with our professional cost. Now that is one that is very tricky and it is tricky because I do understand and appreciate that its gonna, you know, bring its own pain to staff. We basically have to make the adjustments the same way you sounded when we spoke 10 days ago with respect to basically cutting down cost,” the Wigwe said.
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.”
But not everybody would make the money back on ‘earnings per share’ like the boss that owned 1.24 billion direct shares in the bank and indirect shares of 537.73 million through the United Alliance Company of Nigeria Limited and 702.56 million via Trust and Capital Limited as of April 2019.
The managing director said the proposed measures are to keep the bank afloat amid the rising number of COVID-19 in Nigeria and economic disruption but reported N41 billion profit in the first quarter alone.
Commenting on the N1 billion donation, he said “The bank had to save the country from being decimated by COVID-19. N1 billion is nothing compared to our salary structure. We pay close to N8 billion as salaries every month.”
If after paying N24 billion (going by N8bn per month) in salary for the first three months of the year, Access Bank was still able to report N41 billion profit after tax, the bank has no business laying-off staff to manage cost, rather should focus on laying off current management to manage staff better.
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Dangote Petroleum Refinery Set to Make History with Public Listing on NGX
Aliko Dangote, the president and chief executive of Dangote Industries Limited, has announced plans to publicly list the subsidiary, Dangote Petroleum Refinery, on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).
Dangote expressed confidence in overcoming previous challenges related to crude oil supply, stating, “We have resolved all the issues with crude oil supply. We are now ready to move forward with our plans to list the refinery on the Nigerian Exchange Limited.”
The refinery, poised to commence operations in December, holds the promise of significant contributions to the Nigerian economy.
At full capacity, it is expected to produce 650,000 barrels of oil per day, with an initial rollout of 540,000 barrels daily.
The facility will produce 27 million liters of diesel, 11 million liters of kerosene, and nine million liters of jet fuel, sourcing crude from various Nigerian producers, including the state oil company.
A finalized deal for the delivery of the first cargo of approximately six million barrels next month signals the imminent realization of this ambitious project.
The refinery’s impact is anticipated to extend beyond the oil and gas sector, with projections suggesting significant cost savings for Nigeria by eliminating the need to import petrol.
Industry operators and government officials are optimistic about the transformative potential of the Dangote Refinery.
Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), lauded the project as the best-industrialized initiative for Africa, projecting substantial savings for Nigeria and the continent as a whole.
As Nigeria’s largest refinery project, the facility has garnered praise from the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
Dr. Chinyere Almona, the LCCI Director-General, commended the visionary efforts of Aliko Dangote and the supportive federal government, emphasizing the refinery’s capacity to meet Nigeria’s refined petroleum product needs.
The impending listing on the NGX positions Dangote Petroleum Refinery as a catalyst for economic growth, energy security, and self-sufficiency in Nigeria and beyond.
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