Uche Usim, Abuja
It was goodnews for agitated bank workersat the weekend as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers Committee agreed to immediately halt the planned lay-off of workers following the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic.
CBN spokesman, Isaac Okorafor, in a statement said a special meeting of the Bankers’ Committee was convened on May 2, 2020, to further review the implications of the pandemic on the nation’s banking industry. According to him, the Committee particularly deliberated on the issue of operating costs of banks in view of the disruptions emanating from the global economic difficulties and decided on many issues. He said: “In order to help minimise and mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families and livelihoods, no bank in Nigeria shall retrench or lay-off any staff of any cadre (including full-time and part-time).
“To give effect to the above measure, the express approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria shall be required in the event that it becomes absolutely necessary to lay-off any such staff.
The Central Bank of Nigeria solicits the support of all in our collective effort to weather through the economic challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the weekend, the social media space was awash with news of purported plans by banks to immediately downsize to remain afloat, especially as the pestilence hammers the global economy. News of the planned suspension of sack were gladly recieved by most bank workers at the weekend.
Meanwhile the private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has commenced the distribution of 5000 loaves of bread per day for the next 14 days to individuals and families in different locations in Lagos State. The distribution started at Tinubu Square in Lagos Island, and at New Market, Eti-Osa.
Mrs Bisola Dejonwo-Tokan, Chief Executive Officer, Bakehoux Ltd., on Sunday in Lagos, said that the distribution was part of the CACOVID initiative to provide food support to vulnerable people in the society.
According to her, the distribution, which will be done in the morning and evening of each day at different locations, will alleviate the effect of the lockdown on people.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a major threat to humanity and demands that all hands must be on deck to reduce the impact on the people, most especially the vulnerable ones in our society,” she said. Dejonwo-Tokan said that the bread distribution was a complementary effort, asides other intervention of the coalition in the health sector.