The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers’ Committee has asked all commercial banks in the country to not la offs employees amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The agreement was finalised at a special meeting of the Bankers’ Committee convened earlier this week to review the implications of the pandemic on the Nigerian banking industry.

CBN deliberated on the operating expenses of the banks due to the disruptions stemming from the global economic crisis.

In a press release, the CBN noted: “In order to help minimise and mitigate the negative impact of the COVID19 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.”

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Many banks in the country are planning to downsize their workforce or slash employees’ salaries to begin operations.

However, to forestall a major crisis in the country, the CBN through its Bankers’ Committee has ordered the immediate suspension of such plans.

Banks have been directed to take prior approval from the CBN in case the lay-offs are absolutely necessary.