With the crisis occasioned by the COVID- 19 pandemic showing no sign of abating, Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in Nigeria have started issuing new conditions of service to their staff as part of measures to cut costs, New Telegraph has learnt.
According to industry sources, bank staff who have been issued letters changing the terms and conditions of their employment, are given the option of either consenting to the new conditions of service, which would result in the employees taking home reduced wages, or submitting their resignations.
An employee of a Tier 2 lender, who confirmed the development in a chat with this newspaper, said that virtually every staff at her branch reluctantly consented to the new conditions of service, because “there are no jobs out there.”
The bank employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disclosed that the new conditions of service were drafted in such a way that staff who have been working mainly from home since the industry started implementing COVID- 19 restrictions, were agency in our country mandated to handle vaccines.
So it is not a matter of sending money to the Central Bank; that is one step. But the real step is how do we get the vaccines into Nigeria and how do we distribute them to the people.
“I think the most overlooked element in this discussion on that aspect about getting vaccines next week, is that AstraZeneca or any vaccine has yet to be approved by NAFDAC, which is our regulatory agency.
So without the approval of NAFDAC, there is no vaccine that can come into Nigeria and be distributed to Nigerians or shot into the arms of Nigerians. And I think this is where some of the misinformation had come in.”
Speaking on the one million vaccine doses, Youssoufou said: “First thing, I was on a call with the Afreximbank President on February 7 with Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Herbert Wigwe and Godwin Emefiele, and in that call, President Oranmah (Benedict) was explaining to us their model and how this task force was working with the AU and how they have set up a $2 billion facility to help fund the vaccines for Nigeria and for African countries, and that the allocation of 42 million vaccines had been made for Nigeria.
“He also told us about an extra one million doses that we can get if we can confirm that we wanted those doses immediately by the next day February 8. And so CACOVID leaders agreed that yes, this was a good thing and would bring it to the meeting the very next day, which happened.
So we had the meeting yesterday (February 8) and that discussion actually happened. What is really important to know is that Afreximbank, after that call, already secured those doses for Nigeria because they had the confirmation from the Central Bank Governor, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, and Herbert Wigwe that they would pay for these one million doses.
“Now, the doses don’t come in; it’s not as if we get a million doses of vaccines one day getting dumped into Nigeria; they get delivered at a specific pace. So we might get 100,000 immediately, 150,000 the next week, and then let’s say another hundred thousand.
“So we will never get a million doses in one single day coming into Nigeria at once.
“…The vaccines are already secured because President Oranmah said ‘I’ll hold these for you’ for Nigeria. Now we need to get AstraZeneca approved in Nigeria.
“Then the payment that would go from CACOVID to Afreximbank on behalf of Nigeria for these vaccines would then happen.
“So nobody is disputing a transfer into Central Bank account; nobody is saying that did not happen, that is not where the challenge is.
“The challenge is the claim that one company has brought vaccines into Nigeria because that is not factual,” Youssoufou added.