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Promotions, lay-offs as UBA effects corporate right sizing

One of Nigeria’s largest banks and largest by employees, United Bank of Africa has reportedly laid off several of its employees in a move viewed as corporate right-sizing.

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Ugo Nwaghodoh, UBA

One of Nigeria’s largest banks and largest by employees, United Bank of Africa has reportedly laid off several of its employees in a move viewed as corporate right-sizing. Nairametrics confirmed this situation from sources within the bank.

Earlier on Saturday, Social media reports indicated that the bank had sacked “thousands” of employees. Nairametrics reached out to the bank to confirm reports however we were informed that the bank had rather employed over 4,000 staff and promoting over 5000.

Read: UBA Recruits 4000 New Staff, Promotes Over 5,000 Staff members; increases Salaries Up to 170%.

“According to the bank, “over 5,000 staff of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, started the new year with a lot of cheer as the bank yesterday announced its promotion to new grades as well as salary upgrades with immediate effect this January.”

“Those who are beneficiaries of this exercise will receive up to 170% increase in their salaries and benefits, whilst a good number have been moved to higher grade levels.”

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“In a massive recruitment drive, over 4000 new staff members resumed in the last week of December 2019 in Nigeria alone at the bank. UBA currently stands as the highest employer of labour amongst Nigerian banks with a staff strength of close to 20,000.”

[READ ALSO: ASSBIFI claims 65% of banks’ staff are contract workers but …(Opens in a new browser tab)]

The bank made no mention of any mass sack or retrenchment. The bank also did not provide details on which staff was affected by the pay rise, however, Nairametrics understands that reduction in grade levels from 16 to 12 may have led to an automatic promotion of some staff thus an increase in their salaries. Some employees of UBA contacted however confirmed that they are yet to receive official letters.

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UBA Headcount: A recent Nairamertrics report indicates salaries and wages of some of Nigeria’s largest corporations topped N631 billion at the end of 2018 representing a 22% growth from the N515.8 billion recorded in 2015. As expected, the Banking Sector led with about N402.2 billion in 2018 representing a 15.8% growth when compared to our baseline year of 2015.

In terms of headcount, the banking sector employed about 50,136 employees compared to 49,674 jobs in 2015 representing a net job created of just 462. As of 2018, UBA had the most employees with 12,889 staff some of which also reside outside Nigeria. Its 2019 half year audited results show the bank has about 13,124 employees out of which 7218 are male and 5,906 female.

Recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics reveals banks employed about 104,669 employees in 2018 out of which 45,238 were contract staff. This perhaps explains the low net jobs created data as banks now channel most of their job creation to casual staff.

In UBA 2018 annual report, the bank reported salaries and wages of N68.4 billion second only to FBNH with about N81.8 billion. The bank’s salaries and wages bill has risen 23.6% since 2015 one of the highest in the sector.

Industry Remuneration: Sources within the bank also indicate staff has been complaining for years about the level of their salaries and wages when compared to other FUGAZ banks. For example in 2018, out of UBA’s 12,880 employees, only 8% or 1,024 earn about N9 million, the lowest in the sector.

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Bank Total Staff Highest paid Highest Pay Range %age
First Bank           9,158           2,352 Above N9m 26%
UBA         12,880           1,024 Above N9m 8%
GT Bank           5,366              505 Above N8.6m 9%
Access Bank           4,273           1,207 Above N9m 28%
Zenith Bank           7,594           1,938 Above N9m 26%

 

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UBA’s decision to right-size might, however, be an effort to restructure its payroll to ensure the bank employees remain rather than losing them to other competitors. Nigerian Banks have recently increased their preference for contract staff. According to the National Bureau of Statistics in September 2019, the number of contract staff across Nigerian banks was about 43,180 from 22, 576 in the first quarter of 2016.

What this means: For shareholders and investors, the latest move might be viewed positively provided it’s aligned to help the bank compete in an increasingly difficult space where talent is scarce and expensive. 2019 9 months results indicate UBA currently spends 12.86% of its Gross earnings on personnel expenses compared to 11.6% for Zenith Bank and 8.3% for GT Bank.

A cursory review suggests the bank’s personnel expenses are in line with competitors. However, sources within the bank indicate that the challenge could be the bank’s wage structure suggesting perhaps this is why the bank has taken the bold step to fix it.

UBA reported a pre-tax profit of 98.3 billion in its 2019 9 months results compared to N79.1 billion a year earlier. The bank’s share price fell by 7% at the end of 2019.

 

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Energy

Togo, Niger, Benin remit N2.04 billion to Nigeria for power supply

Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission says international electricity customers remitted the sum of N2.04billion to Nigeria in three months.

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NERC postpones increase of electricity tariffs

Nigeria’s international electricity customers – Togo, Niger, and Benin, remitted the sum of N2.04billion in the first quarter of 2020, as their outstanding electricity bill to the Market Operator (MO) of the sector in Nigeria.

This was found in the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission 2020 first quarter report, which was released recently.

According to the report, a total of N4.05billion ($13.22million) invoices were issued by the MO to international customers including Societe Nigerienne d’electricite or NIGELEC; Societe Beninoise d’Energie Electrique (SBEE); and Compagnie Energie Electrique du Togo (CEET).

The commission stated that during the quarter, NIGELEC made a payment of ₦1.61billion ($5.27million) as part of its outstanding bills for the energy received from NBET and services rendered by the MO.

It stated, “Similarly, SBEE paid ₦0.43billion ($1.39million) in respect of services received from MO.

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“It was noteworthy that tariff shortfall (represented by the difference between actual end-user tariffs payable by consumers and the cost-reflective rates approved by NERC) had partly contributed to liquidity challenges being experienced in the industry.

“The settlement ratio to the expected Minimum Remittance Thresholds, having adjusted for tariff shortfall, indicated that power distribution companies needed to improve on their performance.”

But

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Special customers like Ajaokuta Steel Co. Ltd and others in its environs did not make any payment in respect of the N0.27billion and N0.05billion invoices issued to them by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc and the MO respectively, during the period under view.

Meanwhile, the power distributors failed to remit N119.88billion to the sector within the same period.

Whereas Discos were expected to make a market remittance of 46.09% during 2020/Q1, only 32.53% settlement rate was achieved within the timeframe provided for market settlement in the Market Rules,” it added.

What it means: The Discos’ remittance level, regardless of the prevailing tariff shortfall, was still below the expected MRT and they are expected to improve on their performances.

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: Protests may return if panels do not address all issues in 2 weeks – Former Nigerian Minister

Akinyemi says the #EndSARS protesters would return to the streets if their demands are not addressed in two weeks.

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This was disclosed by Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, during a news interview with ARISE TV this afternoon, as he called on the FG to urgently address the issues raised by the protesters, as these issues extend beyond police brutality and the immediate reform of the Nigeria Police force.
He explained during the interview that the current demands of the youths extend beyond basic needs, which remain the core mandate of the present administration.
He likened the #EndSARS protest to the #BlackLivesMatter demonstration and reiterated that demands of the youth extend beyond stomach infrastructure, as it is more of a call for good governance in a bid to address the concrete issues that the country faces.
He called for strategic actions towards combatting the evils of unemployment in Nigeria; called on the military to employ more military men to soak up the unemployment, and also provide security for the country.
On the issue of restructuring, Professor Akinyemi said restructuring is also key to solving the many problems facing the country.
The Professor of Political Science noted that the way forward for Nigeria will be for the government to utilize the Justice Mohammed Uwais report on electoral reforms and the 2014 National Conference report, which he believes addresses the issues confronting Nigerians.
What they are saying
During the interview, Professor Akinyemi said, “I will say and let me believe I am wrong, the judicial panels have just two weeks to address all these issues before the youths come back to the streets. The government should at least give the youths the impression that you have not set up all these panels to buy time, but that you are genuinely and seriously interested in addressing their issues.”
He reiterated the need for the employment of more police officers,
We told the government, because I was part of that conference, that the United Nations said Nigeria needs 1.5 million policemen. We have only about 350,000 and we were recommending that the Nigerian government should employ 750,000 more policemen.”
What we’ve seen in the past two weeks is that we don’t have enough men in uniform to guarantee security in this country if every part of the country decides to blow up. So you serve two purposes – employment and security, and those are things you can do immediately.
“We have just seen how every Governor was scrambling around in the past two weeks; if you allow each state to have its own state police, you wouldn’t have that experience. I have heard of a situation where the streets took over even governance in almost every state. So, restructuring is that you allow things to be done at the local level.”

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Coronavirus

COVID-19: Jason Njoku and wife test positive

iROKOtv CEO and wife have contracted the novel coronavirus.

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Jason Njoku and Wife testes positive to Covid-19

Jason Chukwuma Njoku, the co-founder and CEO of iROKOtv and his wife has tested positive for COVID-19. However, Mrs. Mary Njoku is feeling well.

Jason,  disclosed this via his Twitter handle stating that “My enemies are hard at work in 2020. Mrs. Njoku and I tested positive for Covid-19. I’m not feeling great, but Mary is well. Literally no idea how I caught it. But we shall see this pass too.”

The media mogul did not reveal if his children caught the virus too.

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