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Tuesday, January 7, 2020

WE DIDN’T SACK ANY STAFF, SAYS UBA SPOKESPERSON

The United Bank for Africa Plc, one of Africa’s biggest banks, has denied the reports of mass lay-offs in the bank, a development that has since caused disquiet among staff and a section of the public. In an exclusive interview with an online newspaper on Monday, Mr. Ramon​ Nasir, Head, External & Media Relations, UBA Plc, said that there was no lay-off of staff in the bank. Ramon, in the interview, has explained that some staff who “under-performed” during the bank’s internal appraisal exercise were advised to resign based on UBA’s right-sizing policy. “There was no lay-off in the bank but people were advised to resign based on our right-sizing policy. The bank concluded its appraisals in December. Every year, we do two appraisals in UBA; one in June and one in December. After the second appraisal, the management of the bank takes decision. In this year, decisions that were taken include that 5,000 staff will be promoted and 5,000 staff was promoted on Friday,” he said. The right-sizing exercise, Nasir added, also involves the streamlining of the bank’s grade structure so that staff can enjoy “an accelerated professional life”, adding that affected staff would be paid their rightful emoluments. “In any normal appraisal process, people who have performed exceptionally well will be promoted and (for) people who have performed above average, their salaries will be increased. In our own case, every staff in this bank enjoyed between 50 to 150 per cent salary increment. The lower your level, the more percentage you enjoy in this increment. But, those who have consistently failed the appraisal system, who have performed below par in the two appraisal systems culminating into the decision taken on Friday, were advised to resign. “That’s why I said it was not a layoff. They were advised to resign and if advised to resign, they would be paid between 8 to 12 months of their salary. If you were advised to resign and you take that advice, you will be paid between 8 and 12 months of your gross salary not even net… your gross salary.” The bank’s spokesperson argued that the bank was careful not to sack the affected staff. According to him, the decision was based on the desire to allow affected staff move on by getting employed elsewhere. On Saturday, January 4, UBA Plc announced that the bank had recruited 4,000 new staff, and promoted over 5,000 staff members. Those who are beneficiaries of this exercise will receive up to 170 per cent increase in their salaries and benefits, whilst a good number have been moved to higher grade levels. With the additional recruitment of new staff, UBA currently stands as the highest employer of labour among Nigerian banks with a staff strength of close to 20,000. 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 bank crashed its grade levels to 12 levels from entry-level to the top of the pyramid where previously it had been 16 levels. This means that staff will now find it much easier to attain top leadership management positions at UBA as their careers progress much faster.

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