Of the total number of 27,921 new staff employed by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country between the first quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of this year, 25,998 (93 per cent) were contract staff, findings by New Telegraph show.
According to the “Selected Banking S ector Data Q1 2019” released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), at the weekend, the total number of DMBs’ employees rose to 105,017 in Q1 2019 from 77,096 in the same period of 2017, indicating that a total of 27,921 new staff were hired during the period.
A New Telegraph analysis of the NBS data, however, indicates that 93 per cent of the new personnel employed by DMBs during the period were contract staff.
Indeed, a breakdown of the figures shows that the number of contract staff hired by the banks has risen steadily every quarter from 2017 to 2019.
Thus, the total number of contract staff in the industry, which stood at 20,237 in Q1 2017, increased to 32,359 at the end of that year and further rose to 45,238 at the end of 2018.
In contrast to the steady increase in the number of contract staff, the total number of senior staff in the banking industry, which stood at 20,483 as at Q1 2017, declined to 16,568 at the end of that year. However, it has inched up from 16,941 in Q1 2018 to 18,018 in the first quarter of this year.
Similarly, the total number of junior staff in the industry, which stood at 36,202 in Q1 2017, fell to 33,783 and 35,191 in Q2 and Q3 2017 respectively, before rising to 41,338 in Q4 of that year. It then fell to 40,444 in the first quarter of last year before rising to 41,111 at the end of 2018 and dropping to 40,571 in the first three months of this year.
Also, the number of banks’ Executive Staff which rose to 201 at the end of last year from 174 in Q1 2017 fell to 193 in the first three months of this year.
Interestingly, further analysis of the data shows that as at the end of 2017, DMBs employed more junior staff than contract staff. For instance, at that time, the DMBs employed a total of 41,580 junior staff compared with 32,394 contract staff, 16,745 senior staff and 204 executive staff.
However, by the end of 2018, the total number of contract staff hired by DMBs had increased to 45,238 while the number of junior staff had fallen to 41,111.
In addition, the NBS data also shows that of DMBs’ total staff strength of 90,923 as at the end of 2017, commercial banks employed a total of 89,763 while Merchant Banks and Non-Interest Banks (Islamic Banks) employed 470 and 690 respectively.
In the same vein, the figures indicate that of the DMBs’ total staff strength of 104,669 at the end of last year, commercial banks employed 103,296 compared with 555 and 818 hired by Merchant Banks and Non-Interest banks respectively during the same period.
Likewise, the NBS data shows that of the DMBs’ total staff strength of 105,017 at the end of March this year, commercial banks employed a total of 103,469 compared with 672 and 876 hired by Merchant Banks and Non-interest Banks respectively.
Specifically, the figures indicate that in Q1 2019, the total number of contract staff working in commercial banks stood at 45,710 as against 39,822 junior staff, 17,767, senior staff and 170 executive staff.
According to analysts, the steady increase in banks’ workforce in the last two years is a confirmation that the industry continues to demonstrate resilience even in the face of a tough business environment.
The analysts point out that as part of cost cutting measures aimed at ensuring that they remain profitable, DMBs have, in recent years, deliberately focused on hiring contract staff, who usually earn below N80,000.
However, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) have expressed concern over the development.
For instance, the NDIC has frequently noted that its bank examination reports indicate that the high incidences of fraud and forgeries in the banking industry are linked to contract staff.
Equally, the CBN has warned DMBs to desist from giving sensitive responsibilities to contract staff, given that such workers often believe they do not have a real stake in the organisation.