Over the past six months, no fewer than 789 junior staff in the banking industry have been sacked. Meanwhile, about 11,596 contract staff were hired within this self-same period. These figures reflect that more than 33 junior staff are sacked while 483 contract staff are hired every week.
This data is based on a recent report released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics. The report shows that Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) employed a total of 32,013 contract staff in the first quarter of 2018. In the second quarter of the year, this number skyrocketed to 43,955. That’s more than double the number of contract workers employed in the same quarter of the previous year, 2017.
On the contrary, DMBs employed just 40,444 junior staff in the first quarter and 40,549 junior staff in the second quarter of 2018. This is a 17% increase from the second quarter of the previous year, 2017. However, compared to the massive employment of contract workers, this is still a meagre number.
In recent years, Nigerian banks have been downsizing to manage costs. By increasing the number of their contract staff, they aim at conducting more business online to saving costs. However, this measure has proved counter-productive as it has provided a massive loophole for fraudulent online activities which are becoming more and more rampant.
In emphasis, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disclosed in its recently released Annual report for 2017, that despite increased efforts by regulators and operators to curb scam, the number of recorded electronic fraud cases in the banking industry increased by 28 per cent last year. This was as a result of a total of 25,043 fraud cases that resulted in the loss of a whooping sum of N1.63 billion.
As banks continue deploying contract staff to sensitive positions, the likelihood of these workers succumbing to the temptation of getting involved in fraudulent acts also increases.
The table below gives a detailed breakdown of the quarterly and year-on-year changes in staff strength(contract staff and junior staff) in the banking industry.