Herbert Wigwe, the GMD of Access Bank Plc, has disclosed that the Access Bank will be sacking 75% of its staff. Most of them are from outsourced companies. He further explained that the bank needs to be well posited with its resource and staffing in the wake of this lockdown. The downward turn of business has, according to him, has forced the bank to take this drastic decision.
A prominent member of the CACOVID (Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19), Mr. Herbert Wigwe, disclosed this via leaked excerpts of a Microsoft Teams Townhall Meeting to all staff of Access Bank Plc. In the clear and crisp footage posted on Twitter, the bank boss said the worst-hit staff would be the bank’s outsourced staff who are currently offering ‘non-essential’ services.
“We certainly don’t need all the security men, we don’t need all the cleaners, we don’t need all the tellers…” – Herbert Wigwe, MD Access Bank
In his defense, the banks would probably not have to open till December.
He listed cleaners, security personnel, tea girls, tellers, etc as people who represent “over 75%” of their staff strength and the obvious front liners of this Access Bank mass-sacking exercise.
Besides, he mentioned the bank’s challenges with “Professional Cost”, which he termed trickily and a would-be pain to its core staff. This ‘pain’ ultimately infers that there will be a massive salary cut bank-wide. The bank boss revealed that he would be shouldering a massive 40% pay cut himself.
“I would be first to take the heat and I’m gonna take the largest pay cut which will be as much as 40%” – Herbert Wigwe, MD Access Bank.
He mulled over the hardships the bank would have to face if all the staff is kept and these ‘adjustments’ are unavoidable. These measures, according to the Access Bank MD, are meant to keep the bank afloat.
The boss, however, promised that the situation will surely go back to “normal” when the COVID-19 coast is clear.
However, this news comes as a rude shock to its staff and the public as a whole. “Access Bank that was resilient in the fight against is now sacking its most vulnerable staff and cutting the legs of its core staff”, they said. Coronavirus “Access Bank” was on Twitter’s trending table during the early hours of Saturday due to this.
Industry observers posit that the Access Bank reasons for sacking staff might just be counter-intuitive as the bank’s CEO had incessantly championed donations, philanthropy, and CSR activities in the CACOVID. Some believe all the philanthropy was done to please the public eye, and that a mere one-month lockdown is not sufficient reason to lay off such a large percentage of staff.
A staff of Access Bank, who wishes to be anonymous on this sacking issue, went further to finger this decision. He says:
“This atrocious Access Bank sacking is an indication of underlying financial distress the bank has been battling before the lockdown” – Anonymous
The president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, had earlier announced that the lockdowns in Lagos, Abuja, and Ogun States will now be conditionally lifted on May 4th, 2020. The Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu, also delivered the Lagos State’s personalised version of the re-opening conditions.
Access Bank, alongside other banks in Lagos state would be allowed to open from 9 am – 3 pm from May 4th. Access Bank, alongside other banks still operated during the lockdown, though skeletally.