Forty top managers of Ecobank Nigeria Plc were on Tuesday, 23rd February, 2016 sacked by the bank in an exercise which market watchers attribute to its reaction to the biting economic hardship in Nigeria.
The rank of those sacked ranged from Assistant General Manager, Deputy General Manager and above whose monthly salaries range between N1 million and N2 million.
The affected top management staff of the bank were handed their sack letters from the bank’s head office in Victoria Island, Lagos, on Tuesday, 23rd February, 2016
New Mail correspondent gathered that the bank has been going through tough time as a result of crippling economy, occasioned by dwindling oil prices and the crumbling of the naira to dollar.
One of our sources, a senior manager said the bank had been undergoing restructuring in recent times in trying to survive in a fast collapsing Nigeria economy, but admitted that the current sack was the first time top echelon are affected.
“You know the bank has been laying off staff at mostly junior level, but this is really the first time that level managers are involved.
“As things stand, no one is sure who is next as there are strong indications that the first set of sacked 40 managers may just be the beginning of a long knife,” the source who spoke under strict anonymity told New Mail correspondent.
According to the insider, the source of revenue to the bank had trimmed since the hardship began biting hard, noting that, it is afecting all Nigeria banks and that since Ecobank had not been making money, there was no way it could continue to pay the huge wage bill of top management staff.
“Ecobank is not the only bank facing the biting effect of the economy and the bank is only trying to trim its wages,” another source said, adding that “since those at the top earned more, it decided to sack many at the top level”.
However, in a statement, Wednesday afternoon, the bank down played the issue of the staff rationalisation, but rather announced the recent promotion of about 300 top performing staff and merely said a few staff that performed below expectation have been exited.
The promotion exercise which affected about 10 per cent of the employees, according to the statement, is in line with the bank’s commitment to recognizing and rewarding excellence and exceptional performance. The promoted staff cut across all cadres of the workforce.
In his statement announcing the promotion, Deputy Managing Director of the bank, Anthony Okpanachi said the bank is fully committed to rewarding excellence and will continue to take appropriate positive action in line with international best practice to sustain excellence in its work force.
“Our people are our precious assets who enable us maintain service quality standards, uphold customer satisfaction and enhance our brand experience,” he said.
The affected staff, the statement stressed, were selected through an appraisal exercise conducted using an in-house developed performance management system which uses both financial and non-financial metrics to categorize staff.
According to Okpanachi, the same performance parameter used to determine the performance of those promoted, also revealed underperformance of the disengaged workers and maintained that Ecobank is an institution where high professional culture and exceptional performance, innovativeness and professionalism are recognized & rewarded.
Ecobank Nigeria is part of the Ecobank Group represented in 36 African countries. The Group employs nearly 19,000 people from 40 different countries in over 1,200 branches and offices.