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Central Bank of Nigeria Sacks 50 More Staff

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At least Fifty more staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) were sacked on Monday, adding to the long list of ongoing disengagements in the apex bank.

The sacking under the leadership of CBN governor, Mr Olayemi Cardoso, cuts across 29 departments, it was learnt.

So far, 117 casualties have been recorded in the last 20 days.

The termination of appointments affects directors, deputy directors, assistant directors, principal managers, senior managers and lower ranking staff.

The dispatch of the disengagement letters, which started on March 15, has continued every other week with palpable apprehension amongst staff of every cadre as the management has not specified any standard criteria for the decisions, insiders told our correspondent.

Since the commencement of the sacking, officials of the apex bank have refused to comment on the matter.

Like in the previous instances, attempts to get the reaction of the acting Director of Corporate Communication, Hakama Sidi Ali, yesterday was not successful as she did not pick her call or return the text messages to her line.

The apex bank has also not responded to nor denied the previous allegations on the issue that were published by this paper.

A senior management source, who does not have the permission to speak on the matter, told our reporter that the sacking spree will continue till the end of April.

Staff affected by the latest development, who also spoke to Daily Trust on the condition of anonymity, said the lack of clarity or justification for the sack has made them conclude that they are victims of personal vendetta by Mr Cardoso and the deputy governors.

What CBN’s policies and procedures manual says

Section 16.0 of the CBN’s Human Resources Policies and Procedures Manual (HRPPM) titled ‘Cessation of Employment’, specifies that in every case of separation from the employment of the bank, it is the objective of CBN to make separations as amicable as possible for both the employee and the bank.

Section 16.3.5 notes that an employee’s Normal Retirement Date in CBN should coincide with the date the employee is 60 years old, or has put in 35 years of service.

“Early retirement can be considered when the employee has served for at least 10 years, and is only granted at the discretion of management,” it said.

According to the manual, the bank feels that the retirement of an employee should be an occasion for celebration and for recognition of the individual’s contributions to the bank.

However, section 16.4, which specifies the condition for redundancy, stipulates that redundancy means involuntary and permanent loss of employment as a result of excess human resource.

It explained that the redundancy processes are designed to provide a framework to manage change, where that change involves termination of employment.

“Adversely affected employees are given the opportunity for early separation from the bank.

“Consultation with the Joint Consultative Council is essential, and a fair process is mandatory. Employees who are adversely affected may appeal decisions made by the head, human resources,” it said.

The manual said that the grounds for redundancy require that employment may be terminated for economic, technological, structural or similar reasons.

Why staff are worried

The central grouse of most of the affected staff, especially those who spoke with our correspondent, is the alleged “Indiscriminate application of the manual by the current management.”

The termination letters sent to the directors and some of the affected staff, as seen by our reporter, cited “Reorganisational and human capital restructuring” as the reason for their dismissal, in line with the bank’s new strategic direction.

It was gathered that five directors have indicated their readiness to contest their termination, as according to them, no wrongdoing had been attributed to them, and they have not been implicated in any misconduct.

‘Double standard’

A senior management source told this paper that ahead of the current decisions, those who are allegedly closer to key decision makers at the CBN have been redeployed to other departments.

“Just recently, one of the senior officials of the bank redeployed his younger brother from the development finance department [a department whose staff are in constant fear of their fate] to the governors department,” the source said.

Our correspondent gathered that some of the staff who were recently redeployed to Lagos have found their way back to CBN locations closer to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), following the intervention of the powers that be.

Prior to this latest development, the apex bank had relocated no fewer than 150 staff of the Banking Supervision Department (BSD), which is one of the 29 departments of the bank, to Lagos.

The BSD is under the Financial System Stability Directorate of the CBN.

The relocation saga, it would be recalled, had generated heated controversy across the country, with many people of northern extraction alleging that it was an attempt to dislodge staff who are northerners from the institution.

As part of the allegation, a senior management source told this paper that there were a lot more directors initially pencilled down for transfer to FSS ahead of their eventual retirement but were reconsidered after interventions from high places.

Daily Trust had previously reported that the current Director of Monetary Policy, who was previously the Director of the Statistics Department, Dr Mohammed Musa Tumala, who left to contest the 2023 election is back in the system.

After the Daily Trust report, Mr Cardoso announced that Dr Tumala would exit the CBN after the last monetary policy meeting due to attaining his mandatory retirement age.

Daily Trust also recently reported concerns about the perpetration of illegality, which has seen the current Coordinator of the Currency Operations Department, Olayemi J. Solaja, append his signature on the naira note while not yet confirmed as a director.

‘We’re living in fear’

Several staff of the apex bank who spoke with our reporter said they are living in constant fear as they are not sure who will be affected next.

One of the staff said: “We have seen indiscriminate sacking in procurement, development finance and the medical services department. What it means is that other departments will follow soon.

“I am worried that they will come for all those that worked closely with the sacked directors. The apprehension is not good for productivity and it is also bad for the system,” he said.

Another senior staff member said: “A lot of people who received their sack letter just kept quiet and left their various offices. They feel helpless by the way the system is structured.”

It was learnt that vendors who have completed their contract to the CBN since last June have their payment kept perpetually in view by the new management over suspicion that they might have benefitted from the management of the erstwhile governor, Godwin Emefiele.

However, several sources confirm to Daily Trust that vendors who have “connections” at high places have seen their files isolated and treated for payment.

Nelly Agwu is an educationist, a journalist, a Blogger, graduate of History. Very dynamic and a realist. A mouthpiece of the oppressed. Easy going and a Philanthropist.

GPBN Association

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