Mass Sack: How Fidelity Bank Use, Throws Staff Back To Unemployment Market

Mass Sack: Fidelity Bank Throws Staff Back To Unemployment Market

By Evelyn Nweke

Fidelity Bank Plc, a leading private financial institution in Nigeria, has joined the list of Nigerian Banks with horrendous manners of disengaging scores of workers, and left them in the cold hands of unemployment cum economic hardship.

Following its recent mass sack across its branches in the country, one of the junior staff who was affected by the unfair labour practice told The Labour how he had laboured for the Bank for over 10 years and was thrown out with nothing to fall back on.

Pleaded to be reported on anonymity, He lamented that it is unfortunate that banks use their staff as slaves and dumps them without due notice. He went on to demand for justice, asking whether the action exhibited by the Bank is in accordance with the provisions of the Nigeria Labour Laws and the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) stipulations on fair labour practice.

According to the sacked Fidelity Bank staff, the Bank without any safe landing provision in place, told all junior staff who have put in upto 10 years as bankers in the Bank to go, even as some few senior staff members were also thrown out.

When asked if the bank has reached out to them since they were laid off, he said that Fidelity Bank reluctantly organised empowerment training for them, with assurance of support in setting up individual Point of Sale ( POS) businesses.

“They organised the training in Lagos and Abuja regional offices last week while that of Kano took place on Tuesday this week and they were just talking about POS business. There are already POS machines in almost every corner of Abuja and other places in the country. Can anyone say that after 10 years of working for you, a POS machine is an equitable settlement? Honestly I don’t just know what to do or where to start from.” the disengaged staff said.

Asked if the bank has paid accrued termination benefits them, he said the management had promised to do so but has done nothing yet.

As at the time of filling this report, all attempts to speak with the Fidelity Bank on the reason for the staff disengagement did not yield results as mails sent to the Bank were not responded.

Also, a message also sent to Fidelity Bank’s Facebook page on Tuesday failed to deliver the expected result as a terse reply from the bank simply read : “Thank you for contacting us. We will respond to you shortly.”

However, source said the sack was necessitated by the need to cut down overhead costs amid the worsening economy in the country even as he ruled out any issue of financial distress in the bank.

For the records, Fidelity Bank boasts of over 3,000 staff, about five million customers with 250 business offices and other various digital banking channels in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had a few weeks ago also reiterated the resilience, safety and soundness of Nigerian Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and other financial institutions under its supervision.

The apex bank had made the clarification following unconfirmed reports in social media that depositors funds in some banks may be trapped over insolvency issues.

But the acting Director, Corporate Communications Department of CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, said the Nigerian banking system had proven to be very sturdy in spite of the global challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Nwanisobi, routine bank examination and stress test for financial institutions operating in the country indicated that no Deposit Money Bank (DMB) licensed by CBN is currently under any form of financial distress, adding that the banks have adequate capital to absorb unexpected losses that may arise.

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