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Access Bank to Cut 75% of its Staff Despite Posting N40.92bn Profit in Q1 2020

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Herbert Wigwe
  • 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.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Segun Opeke is Polaris Bank Executive Director

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Polaris Bank Appoints Segun Opeke as Executive Director

Mr. Segun Opeke has been appointed as an Executive Director of Polaris Bank Limited, according to a statement issued by the bank.

The lender said the appointment was made by the bank’s Board of Directors and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

According to the statement, Mr. Opeke has over 26 years of hands-on work experience acquired from leading Nigerian commercial banks with over fifteen of these years in senior and executive management roles.

Until his appointment, Opeke was the Directorate Head, Lagos Business.

The Lagos Directorate under, his leadership, recorded outstanding growth and contributed significantly to the turnaround of the bank, evidenced by its impressive financial performance recorded in the 2019 financial year.

“Since the CBN intervention in the erstwhile Skye Bank Plc in July 2016, Segun has played a prominent role in the Bank’s transformation initiatives and very instrumental to the several milestone achievements of the Bank.

“By this appointment, he is expected to strengthen the bank’s leadership aspirations in the industry leveraging his wealth of experience and contributing greatly to its ongoing corporate transformation programme,” it stated.

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Survival Fund: Here is FG’s Timetable for Registration as Portal Opens Today

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Small and Medium Enterprises

FG’s Timetable for Survival Fund as Registration Portal Opens Today

The registration portal for the Federal Government’s Survival Fund will be officially opened to prospective beneficiaries at 10 pm Monday, September 21, 2020.

According to the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President (Office of the Vice President), Laolu Akande, the survival fund would help ease the negative impact of COVID-19 on small businesses and self-employed individuals.

He said “the website https://survivalfund.ng will be open for Nigerians who have MSMEs or who are artisans, plumbers, electricians, transport workers, private school teachers or who belong to different categories under the survival fund.”

On Sunday, the Federal Government released a statement detailing timetable for categories of businesses to register. According to the statement, educational institutions will be the first category of beneficiaries to register on the portal.

Nigerians interested in the Payroll Support scheme are to note that the site for registration will be open from 10 pm Monday, September 21, 2020.

“In order to ensure a seamless registration process, the Project Delivery Office (PDO) has designed a registration schedule.

“Registration for Payroll Support will start with educational institutions on Monday and will be followed with businesses in the hospitality industry on Friday, September 25 beginning from 12 A.M.

“The portal will also be open to other categories of small businesses from 12 A.M., on Monday, September 28, 2020,” the statement said.

Federal Government, therefore, advised those whose businesses were impacted by COVID-19 to take note of the schedule and also log on to http://www.survivalfund.ng to register for the payroll support initiative.

The survival fund is a federal government’s conditional grant to support vulnerable Micro and Small enterprises in paying salaries and safegaurd jobs to prevent further increase in unemployment and cushion falling economic productivity.

For how to access survival fund clicks here

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How to Access Survival Fund Through Official Registration Portal

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small-business

Here is a Detail Break Down of How You Can Access MSMEs Survival Fund

You can now start registering for the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Survival Fund instituted by the Federal Government to help small businesses and individuals impacted by COVID-19.

To access survival fund registration portal log on to https://survivalfund.ng

According to Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President (Office of the Vice President), “Next week, we are starting the survival fund, which is a part of this plan. From next week, it will be available and people who are potential beneficiaries will be able to get more information on https://survivalfund.ng.”

He said from next week, “the website https://survivalfund.ng will be open for Nigerians who have MSMEs or who are artisans, plumbers, electricians, transport workers, private school teachers or who belong to different categories under the survival fund.”

About 45 percent of beneficiaries of the program are expected to be female-owned businesses while 5 percent is allocated to persons with special needs.

The survival fund includes payroll support for three months, and a guaranteed offtake scheme among others, all under the National Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP).

The Federal Government plans to reach around 1.7 million individuals and businesses through the program.

How to Benefit from MSMEs Survival Fund.

To benefit from National MSMEs Survival Fund, your business must:

—Be Nigerian-owned
—Be CAC-registered
—Business owner must have a BVN
—Staff strength of not less than 10 for Payroll Support and 3 for GoS.

Eligibility for the survival fund Nigeria

To qualify for Survival Fund Nigeria, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. For employers of MSMEs
  • All the beneficiaries companies must be registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
  • Must have staff capacity of not less than 3 persons,
  • All the eligible enterprises must be owned by a Nigerian and located in Nigeria.
  • Must have BVN.
  1. Self-Employed Individuals in the following categories
  • Service Providers in the transportation sector, i.e bus drivers, taxi drivers, ride share drivers (Uber, Bolt. etc) and Mechanics.
  • Artisans: Electricians, Plumbers, etc.

Application portal opening date

The portal will open on Monday, 21st September 2020

Survivalfund.ng Portal

The MSME Survival Fund registration portal is survivalfund.ng. Registration for the National MSMEs Survival Fund will begin on Monday, 21st September 2020.

MSME Survival Fund Registration Portal & Information.

Under the National Survival Fund is a Payroll Support Scheme, vulnerable registered businesses will be supported in meeting their payroll obligations of between N30,000 to N50,000 per employee to safeguard the jobs of a maximum of 10 employees over a 3-month period.

In addition to registered businesses, the National MSMEs Survival Fund will also cater to a second category of Nigerians: the Self-employed, including:

  • Service providers in the transportation sector, i.e. Bus/Taxi drivers, Rideshare drivers, Auto-Mechanics
  • Artisans (Electricians Plumbers etc).

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