Contract staffing in Nigeria Banks, Nigerian Banks

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), yesterday, released the report for selected banking sector data for the last quarter of 2018. A section of the report contains the composition of Staff Strength of Nigerian Banks.

The report shows that out of 104,669 employees in Nigerian Banks in Q4 of 2018, 201 are the Executive Staff, which represented 0.19%, less than 1% of the entire Bank Staff strength.

Similarly, the Senior Staff are 18,119, and this represents 17.3% of the total staff strength. Also, the Junior Staff stood at 41,111, representing 39.3% as the second highest Staff category in Nigerian Banks.

Lastly, Contract Staff recorded the highest with about 45,238 amounting to 43.2% of the entire Bank Staff in Nigeria.

Some key metrics

  • The total Staff strength of the Nigerian Banking Sector increased from 70,960 in Q1 of 2014, to 104,669 in Q4 of 2018. This implies that Nigeria Banks’ Staff strength grew by 47% in the last 4 years.
  • Quarter on Quater, Bank Staff strength grew by 1.80%.
  • Year on Year, Bank Staff Strength grew by 15.72%.
  • Year on Year, Executive Staff strength grew by 6.91%, Senior Staff grew by 9.36%, Junior Staff dropped by (0.55%) while Contract Staff grew by 39.80%.
  • Quarter on Quarter basis in 2018, Staff strength grew all high in Q2 at 13.67 per cent.
  • Bank Staff strength grew to 1.80% in Q4 from 0.95% in Q3 of 2018.
  • Out of the 201 Executive staff as of December 2018, Commercial Banks have 170, representing about 84.5% of the total Staff. Merchant Banks control 21 (10.5%) and Non-interest Banks with 10 Executive Staff (5% of total).
  • In terms of the Senior Staff composition as of December 2018, Commercial Banks boosted the highest with 17,874 (98.6%) out of 17,729 Staff. Merchant Banks came a distant second with 170 (0.93%) and Non-Interest Banks having 75 Staff (0.41%)
  • The report shows that Commercial Banks also dominated the Junior Staff category with 40,386 Staff (98.2%), Non-Interest Banks came second with 405 Staff (0.99%) and Merchant Banks ranked third in the category with 320 Staff (0.78%).
  • Lastly, the Commercial Banks also represent the highest employer of Contract staff with 44,866 Contract Staff out of 45,238, which means 99.2% of the entire Contract Staff strength. Non-interest Bank has 328 Contract Staff (0.73%) and Merchant Banks have 44 (0.09%).

 Why the Statistics matter?

According to the NBS report on unemployment in Q3 of 2018,

In Nigeria, while thousands of youths graduate yearly across the tertiary institutions, the increase in the unemployment rate further puts pressure on rising underemployment. Graduates who get paid employment will not be able to live on the same income level with their contemporaries in other climes. Whatever job a fresh graduate sees, they accept just to survive and have means of livelihood.

For Banks, it appears the banking sector is only leveraging on the population of the labour force. For every graduate trainee opportunity, thousands of fresh graduates apply. Hence, this suggests the supply for labour is higher than the demand. By extension, ridiculous salaries and workload can be offered.

Another side to this is Banks acclaimed struggle to keep up with operational costs. Also, more recently, while some Banks have stopped excessive transactional costs, there has been mounting pressure on others to exclude excessive costs imposed on customers. This further affects their revenue. Hence, contract Staffs who are in most cases less paid are now hired to handle routine operational activities.

Most banks in Nigeria now frequently put up graduate trainee schemes, either themselves or by several outsourcing firms for the sole purpose of recruiting contract Staffs.

Is this good for the economy?

It is intrusive to note that in the last quarter of 2018, there was a negative growth of 0.55% growth in Bank Junior staff. This suggests that within the last quarter, Contract Staff in Nigerian banks have witnessed a sharp drop in tendencies of becoming permanent staff. This appears not good for the economy.

Similarly, there is a surging increase in both unemployment and underemployment rates in Nigeria. However, according to the Banks’ Staff Strength Bureau report, we expect the number of unemployed fresh graduates to reduce in time due to the increase in the number of Contract staff employed by Banks.

On the flip side, being underpaid can have a damning effect on the general standard of living of the people. Wages are flexible in terms of decline but rigid to go upward. Hence, as the number of fresh graduates increases with fewer job opportunities, this may subsequently put Nigerian graduates in a further dilemma to take up Contract jobs that pay lesser which deteriorates their standard of living.


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