He was one of the over 1000 staff sacked by Oceanic Bank on December 21st, two weeks after his wedding. The his new wife wept uncontrollably upon hearing the sad news lamenting that her in-laws would accuse her of bringing misfortune to their son.

An atmosphere of fear and pity has descended on the banking industry following the retrenchment of 3500 staff by three banks within one week.
On Monday, Oceanic Bank sacked over 1000 while the previous Friday Intercontinental Bank and UBA PLC sacked 1500 and 1000 respectively.
This development has occasioned an atmosphere of fear as most bankers now approach each day with trepidation not sure if that would not be the last day at work.

Also bankers who were formerly the other of professionals have become the object of pity in the eyes of the public.

”You know our industry has become an industry of pity. Banking job is no longer the dream job in town”, said a banker in reference to the recent decline in the fortunes of Nigerian banks and bankers.

In deed there is no better way to capture what has befallen the banking industry since August 14th 2009, when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sacked the chief executives and executive directors of five banks. Suddenly an industry that is famous for declaring jumbo profits and mouth watering dividend declared loses amounting to over a trillion naira.

And an industry that is noted for generating employment in thousands suddenly began to sack en mass. As at the last count five banks have sacked 5000 staff while others are preparing their sack list.

Across the industry and among bankers there is palpable fear, anxiety and apprehension. “Everybody is afraid”, said Tope, a staff of First Bank Olowu branch in Ikeja.

“We hear the bank wants to sack again and it might be up to 1000 this time around”, she said adding that the problem is that we don’t even know the criteria. We have been asking what the criteria are but no answer.” “I have stopped worrying”, Chinyere said , “I won’t allow retrenchment fever kill me. I still have my certificate so I can still get job elsewhere.”

But for most bankers the challenge is more than getting another job, that is even if there is a job waiting out there. The unemployment situation is scary with millions of graduate yet to secure job years after they left school.

The challenge for most bankers is that they are used to a high standard of living courtesy of high remuneration in the industry and the easy access to cheap loans. Most of them drive posh cars, live in high brow areas where the rents are quite staggering. Many of them have taken loans to finance various forms of asset acquisition from cars to houses.

It is not their fault. Credit is the commodity of trade in the industry and hence patronising their banks also means taking loans or buying credit from the bank.

The result is that every banker has one loan or the other to repay. “You know we bankers live on credit”, a manager with Oceanic bank said.

On top of these are the many relatives and friends that depend on bankers for sustenance. Many of them have junior ones whom they assist to pay their school fees up to university as well as parents and elderly relatives who depend on them for economic support from time to time.

That is why unemployment to a banker is a colossal misfortune not only to him but to his family.

Kwara State-born Mustapha is a former staff of First Bank. He was employed on February 4, 2008, confirmed in March 2009 and appraised in April 2009 and to his surprise, he was one of the 485 staff retrenched by First Bank on October 16. His father, a retired UBA staff was dazed.

Mustapha’s employment has brought lots of smiles and hope to him and the family who looked up to him as the bread winner with the added responsibility to sponsor his sibling’s education.

The story of James is even more pathetic. He was one of the over 1000 staff sacked by Oceanic Bank on December 21st, two weeks after his wedding. The his new wife wept uncontrollably upon hearing the sad news lamenting that her in-laws would accuse her of bringing misfortune to their son.

Kunle was also among those sacked by Oceanic Bank. He sobbed like a baby when he got to the office that morning and like other affected staff discovered he couldn’t log in to the banks’ computer system, indicating he has been disengaged. He is the sole provider for his family of three children and wife.

His wife used to be gainfully employed. But due to the demands of taking care of their three children they both agreed she should resign and she did. Now both of them are unemployed.

One of the most frustrating thing aspect of the mass retrenchment and which made it very painful for the affected bankers is that for most of them they were not sacked because they were incompetent or did not perform. They were just sacked.

Kemi was one of the 300 sacked by Stanbic IBTC in October. In fact five of them were sacked at the Elephant House branch of the bank in Alausa in Lagos state.

The five of them she said were the most hardworking of the 15 staff in the branch, a situation which devastated not only them but also the branch manager who could not understand the criteria used by the management that made the five of the most dependable staff to be included in the sack list.

This makes their sack very painful for the affected bankers. They had laboured and even slaved for the banks.

Most of them especially those that live in Lagos leave for work 4.30 am in order to bit traffic and be in the office by 7.30 am, work till 7.00pm and most times don’t get home till 10.00pm. Some even work on Saturdays and Sunday and as a result don’t have time for family and friends and even for religious programmes .

Many of them have subjected themselves to humiliating experiences in order to meet the impossible deposit targets constantly given them by the banks, and they have borrowed against future income to finance high taste induced by the banking environment. And despite all these sacrifices they found themselves rejected by the banks which they had once proudly and painfully served.

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I dont know what to say, who to blame and all that...it all boils down to the same thing...this country is sick!
u are right jor dis country is sick n need true people 2 help.

Madon said:
I dont know what to say, who to blame and all that...it all boils down to the same thing...this country is sick!
Well dis is a country where innocent bank workers pay for the sins of their top executives.
it's really painful. may God help & save us all from unjust treatment. has Sanusi done more harm than good? for me i say, 'Yes'
Well it is easy to get swept by emotions(I have friends and relatives who lost their jobs in the mass retrenchment)but truth be told, there were indications for quite awhile that things were not well with the banks. Lets take the massive drive for deposits by the banks shortly after consolidation. The banks kept posting bogus profits and declaring unrealistic dividends(which the investors did not readily have access to I must add) but at the same time they started an aggressive deposit drive, sending their workers to markets, abattoirs, beer parlours etc, then they moved to de-marketing their rivals. All these were indicators that all was not well but we chose to play the Ostrich and bury our heads hoping all will turn out well.
so, what are you trying to say Sir? that we have lots of job opportunities and the sacked bankers chose not to move or what? if you were there you will not make a move until you secure another job, will you? so if you say their sack is justifiable, no problem. what goes around come around.

A E Yakubu said:
Well it is easy to get swept by emotions(I have friends and relatives who lost their jobs in the mass retrenchment)but truth be told, there were indications for quite awhile that things were not well with the banks. Lets take the massive drive for deposits by the banks shortly after consolidation. The banks kept posting bogus profits and declaring unrealistic dividends(which the investors did not readily have access to I must add) but at the same time they started an aggressive deposit drive, sending their workers to markets, abattoirs, beer parlours etc, then they moved to de-marketing their rivals. All these were indicators that all was not well but we chose to play the Ostrich and bury our heads hoping all will turn out well.
If you think I am ok or believe it is justifiable for the hapless bankers to lose their jobs enmasse then you clearly did not understand what I was trying to postulate Mr Onyegbula. My sister's husband also lost his job so it had a very personal effect on me too. I was trying to discuss the issue from the point of the whole banking structure itself, its position and contribution as a vehicle for economic growth and development in the country. The loss of jobs by the bankers has been extensively discussed but nothing has been said about the unfortunate investors who lost millions of naira due to the shady banking practices of the executives. Alot of those investors were pensioners, low income earning people who gathered the little they had to buy shares post-consolidation hoping to earn good return on their investments, now all that money has gone down the drain. What do we tell them? It is a terrible thing that has happened(or more rightly is happening) in the banking industry and it should be a lesson to us all. May God help us all.

ONYEGBULA VICTOR said:
so, what are you trying to say Sir? that we have lots of job opportunities and the sacked bankers chose not to move or what? if you were there you will not make a move until you secure another job, will you? so if you say their sack is justifiable, no problem. what goes around come around.

A E Yakubu said:
Well it is easy to get swept by emotions(I have friends and relatives who lost their jobs in the mass retrenchment)but truth be told, there were indications for quite awhile that things were not well with the banks. Lets take the massive drive for deposits by the banks shortly after consolidation. The banks kept posting bogus profits and declaring unrealistic dividends(which the investors did not readily have access to I must add) but at the same time they started an aggressive deposit drive, sending their workers to markets, abattoirs, beer parlours etc, then they moved to de-marketing their rivals. All these were indicators that all was not well but we chose to play the Ostrich and bury our heads hoping all will turn out well.
we ve heard stories of hardworking staffs being retrenched, my concern is the modus of the retrenchment, if hardworking staffs are sacked at the expence of non performing staffs, what level of productivity is 2 be expected in this financial year?
To me due process was not followed in the retrenchment, staffs had the right 2 know the basics 4 their retrenchment, apart from the process of the retrenchment which i have reservations about, i think i dont frown at the exercise at all.
this is becos the future of nation nigeria is paramount to me than a hand full of bankers who misled us all this while.
saniusi is sanitizing the sector, if this is the price we hav to pay for a stronger financial nigeria then we shld readly stand up for it. emotions will always draw us back, lets not shy away from the fact, if not for what sanisi is doing, one day we would be up and discover that our banks have collapsed,
For the first time in a long while, banks are declaring losses, all the while its being profits all the way, the probing question is WHAT IMPART HAS THIS PROFITS ON THE AVERAGE NIGERIAN? The banks manipulated our shares, the banks became the petal of sharp practices, encouraged the impoverishment of helpless nigerians through the support for importation of fuel rather than resuscitation our home based refineries ,WHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Simple QUICK PROFIT at the expoence of nigerians. yet they subject these bankers to compulsory loans among other atrocities.
If, then, reform is been made in the system, which if not made, would lead to a devastating collapse of the system WOULD RETRENCHMENT OF 10,000 BE SO MUCH OF A PRICE TO PAY FOR A GREATER POPULATION OF 150 MILLION PEOPLE?
May God help us. I really dont know what to say at a time like this.
the shocking news of lost of job in the banking sector has turned int a normal daily news ...i was at oceanic bank along okpanam road few days ago and a very hard workling lady just lost her job to sanusi"s banking reforms....That man is evil.
Precious said:
May God help us. I really dont know what to say at a time like this.
It's really sad and to think that the best time chosen for this action was during the Xmas and New year celebrations when people were supposed to be having a nice time with their families. It's evil.
That is all we get out of the system. The truth is the earlier one starts his own business the beta for him. I have experienced it was truly a harrowing experience but God saw me through it. i want to say to those affected that it is not the end of their lives in fact their lives have begun only that abinitio they were living some one else's dreams. Get a vision for yourself and start living it. A living Dog is still beta than a dead lion.Eccl 9 :4 There is hope for a tree if it be cut down it shall yet sprout again Job 14:7
Bank job is not the best of jobs neither is there any that is the best except being your own boss.

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