- 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.
Ndubuisi Ekekwe Moves to Deepen Capabilities Through Free Weekly Business Lessons
In a bid to deepen business and individual capabilities across the African continent, Prof. Ndubuisi Ekekwe, Founder of Fasmicro and the Lead faculty, Tekedia Institute, on Sunday said he will commence free business lessons to enhance accumulation of capabilities.
In a message forwarded to all members of the platform, Tekedia.com, Prof. Ekekwe, explained that when businesses accumulate capabilities, they move upstream and create new competitive tentacles which eventually form the foundation of their growth.
“More so, because of the capabilities, they protect their market shares through strategic moats against competitors and new entrants,” he stated.
Prof. Ekekwe plans to send out two business lessons per week to engage Tekedia’s growing community on the mechanics of business systems. “Each piece would be prepared to pass across a business lesson.”
Prof. Ndubuisi Ekekwe writes regularly in the Harvard Business Review and has spoken at global events — explaining and teaching the mechanics of business systems and nation-building.
To start receiving his free business lessons sign up here.
FG Introduces NEXIT Portal for Npower Batch A and B Beneficiaries
The Federal Government has introduced a new online portal for exited Npower beneficiaries of batch A and B.
According to the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Farouq, the portal was launched in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to enable exited Npower beneficiaries apply for available federal government empowerment options.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by Nneka Anibeze, the media aide to the minister, on Friday.
The ministry said the NEXIT portal will be used to determine the suitability of exited beneficiaries for various CBN-affiliated programmes.
She explained that selection will be based on the conditions and criteria set by the apex bank.
Ms Farouq, therefore, urged interested exited Npower beneficiaries to log on to the NEXIT portal and provide the required additional information for possible placements into central bank’s intervention options.
“The Minister expressed her deep appreciation to the CBN Governor Mr Godwin Emefiele CON for his support adding that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs remained committed to the vision of Mr President to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
“Minister Umar Farouq pledged the Ministry’s willingness to collaborate with relevant agencies of government and other stakeholders towards the realization of that vision and congratulated the exited beneficiaries while wishing them well in their future endeavours.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria is very proud of the milestones you have achieved during your period of service to the nation. As we prepare to exit into prospective endeavours.”
Ellah Lakes Partner Ondo State Government to Develop Oil Palm, Cassava in the State
The management of Ellah Lakes Plc said it has partnered with Ondo State Government to develop and manage 5000 hectares of land for the purpose of cultivating oil palm and cassava in Ondo State, Nigeria.
The company stated in a statement signed by Kenechi Ezezika, Company Secretary, Ellah Lakes Plc.
Speaking on the development, the Chief Executive Officer, Chuka Mordi said: “This is a significant landmark for the Company in the development of our landbank, & we are very excited to be working with ODSG.
“I am delighted that we are fulfilling our strategic objective of progressively expanding our land bank & diversifying our portfolio and production base. I am also glad to say that the intercropping programme in Edo State is progressing steadily & we have achieved our first milestone of 100Hectares of Cassava with the participation of personnel of the Agricultural Development Program (ADP), in Edo State”.
The Special Adviser on Development & Investment to the Ondo State Governor/ Chief Executive Officer of Ondo State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (ONDIPA), Mr. Akinboye Oyewumi, who also spoke on the development said: “We are pleased with this collaboration with Ellah Lakes Plc., and we look forward to a mutually beneficial, valuable and fruitful venture.”
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