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UBA purportedly sacks 2,000 workers, Nigerians react

UBA Plc Headquarters, Marina, Lagos

Helen Williams

Amid what has been described as the bank’s ongoing ‘restructuring’ exercise or ‘rightsizing’, Nigerians have reacted furiously as the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc apparently sacked a large number of its staff, numbering about 2,000 recently.

ConsumerConnect learnt that the workers were dismissed at the beginning of January 2020.

Sources also revealed that many of the affected staff are personnel who have spent between 10 and 13 years in the service of the bank.

Although the banking institution has not revealed the rationale behind the recent action, an insider nonetheless, said “the old staff were relieved of the duty to accommodate new ones.”

Although hundreds of staff of the UBA would no longer be in its employ, it was learnt that one of the nation’s leading financial institutions lately employed about 1,000 fresh staff before the festive period.

Ramon Nasir, Head, External and Media Relations, UBA Plc, in a statement said 5,000 staff were promoted to new grades as their salaries were also upgraded with immediate effect in January 2020.

Those who are beneficiaries of this exercise, the source added, will receive up to 170% increase in their salaries and benefits.

“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.

“In a carefully planned restructuring embarked upon by the bank in the last quarter of 2019, UBA has transformed its grading system and processes to become one of the most competitive within the industry,” the statement said.

However, Nigerians on Social Media platforms have lambasted the bank for sacking its staff at the beginning of the New Year.

Daily Post, an online news platform, captured some of the caustic reactions as follows:

“UBA has fired a lot of staff in the first week of 2020; they welcomed them into a new decade with sack letters. In some cases, husband and wife were both fired. Mad stuff,” said Nigerian Olaoflife.

Fuyeboss wrote: “This morning, I heard about the sack of someone I know in UBA. This is just painful I swear. You give one single individual 3million Dollars contract and sack thousands of your staff few days later. UBA, no be so ooo.”

Certain MasterPekaaboo also wrote, “Heard UBA are sacking lots of their staff and no one is talking about it. Where are our Labour Unions?

“Where are our HR top dogs? Who’s speaking up? 1st working day, and being handed your sack letter for what reason?”

Whereas Tola_Fame in his submission said, “The layoff of staff by UBA is very cruel and inconsiderate! How can you sack people at the beginning of the year without prior notice?

Some people don’t even know that they have been sacked yet. How do expect people to survive? How will they pay their kids school fees?”

“UBA sent a sack letter mail to most of their old staff on Jan 1st, and in a bid to deceive the public, they claimed they employed 4,000 new staff and increased salary of old staff. UBA, make una fear God o,” wrote Blueraxy4u.

Ademolasawyer as well stated, “Starting the year with a sack letter? Men! I feel for those UBA staff, men! I was in that same position exactly 10 years ago!”

“CBN told banks to reduce the thief-thief charges of customers, and now UBA sacked some staff to balance the books since the free income of the thief-thief charges are no more,” remarked Stunneri.

Meanwhile, some of the affected staff, who spoke to under the condition of anonymity, sources added, gave different narratives of how the exercise was conducted at different branches of the bank nationwide, especially between December 2019 and first week of January 2020.

They also said that the decision came to them as “a rude shock”.

The reports of the development at the UBA have reportedly caused disquiet among the staff and a cross-section of the banking public.

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