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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

 

Patricia

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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Hospitality & Travel

Passengers can now arrive 90 minutes before departure for domestic flights – FG

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international passengers, Coronavirus: FG enforces immediate screening of travellers at airports with new directive

The Federal Government has announced the reduction of arrival time for passengers from three hours to one hour and a half before departure for domestic flights.

This was disclosed in a tweet post by the Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, through his Twitter handle on Monday, July 13, 2020.

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The minister said that the decision was arrived at after they have reviewed passenger facilitation at the airport while noting that passengers should check-in online.

In the tweet post, Sirika said, ‘’My colleagues and I have reviewed passenger facilitation at our airports, consequently I am happy to announce that, henceforth travellers are to arrive one hour and half before their departure time for domestic flights. Travellers are advised to check-in online, please.’’

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It can be recalled that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had earlier in June issued flight resumption protocol for both international and local passengers across the country, advising passengers to arrive at the airport three hours before their time due to the new COVID-19 safety checks for domestic flight operations and five hours for international flight operations.

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Economy & Politics

Seyi Makinde Proposes N3 billion investment plan for water supply

The local governments in Oyo are advised to submit a list of 10 faulty boreholes in the LG. 

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Seyi Makinde Proposes N3 Billion plan for water supply

The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde announced the proposal of a N3 billion investment plan dedicated to water supply in rural and urban areas of the state.

Speaking through the Chairman of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Mr. Najeem Omirinde in Ibadan on Monday, he added that N500 million of the N3 billion would be used for repairing broken and faulty state-owned boreholes.

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All Chairmen of each of the Local Governments in Oyo are advised to submit a list of 10 faulty boreholes in the Local governments.

The Oyo State governor also ordered that all new boreholes must be compliant with solar-powered pumps, to enable their longevity and save costs.

Urging residents to patronize the agency if they need to dig up boreholes for water, citing that it would be cheaper if done through the state agency than with private drilling companies.

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Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed stated last year that Nigeria needs an estimated N36 trillion annually for the next 30 years to solve Nigeria’s infrastructure problem. The investment, although a tiny fraction of what Nigeria needs is a bold step by the Oyo State government.

 

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Economy & Politics

FG asks UK court for more time to appeal $9.6 billion arbitration judgement

Malami stated that the Evidence of P&ID’s highly orchestrated scam had only recently come to light. 

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FG asks UK court for more time to appeal $9.6 billion arbitration judgement

The Federal Government has approached a UK court to appeal for more time to appeal the $9.6 billion arbitration award against it over the breach of contract with Process & Industrial Development (P&ID) Ltd.

Nigeria has said that it needs more time to pursue its argument that the 2010 gas supply contract with Process & Industrial Development Ltd was a sham.

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The legal dispute with P&ID is coming against the backdrop of the huge drop in the country’s revenue due to the collapse in oil prices globally. Nigeria had applied to US courts in March seeking for documents from 10 banks which includes Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co, in a bid to prove its corruption allegations.

P&ID, however, has denied any wrongdoing in the whole transaction, arguing that Nigeria missed its opportunity to appeal.

The Nigerian Lawyer, Mark Howard, on Monday, the first morning of a 2-day hearing, said ‘’It is very unusual in a fraud case to discover a single smoking gun. By its very nature, fraud is conducted in secret, which makes it hard to detect and justifies an extension.’

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READ MORE: The effect of the United States’ Shale Oil on Nigeria?

The legal representatives for Nigeria are seeking another hearing for the judge to decide whether any misconduct has taken place and whether it justifies overturning the contract

The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami in a statement said, ‘’Evidence of P&ID’s highly orchestrated scam had only recently come to light.’’

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It can be recalled that last year, a UK judge upheld an earlier arbitration award to P&ID, which had accumulated to about $9.6 billion. The arbitration decision was over a failed contract to build a gas processing plant in the Southern city of Calabar.

The Nigerian lawyers disclosed that they have uncovered alleged bribes to government officials and their family members dating back to 2009.

Malami in his court filing on March 24, submitted that ‘’There is good reason to believe that ministers at the highest level were involved in a corrupt scheme to steal money from Nigeria.’’

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