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Displacement of employees by contract staff in banks’ poses security risky—Expert

Rising staff strength in the nation’s banking sector by contract workers’ in the last one year has been described as a huge security risk for the financial institutions especially now activities are going digital.

Details from the Selected Banking Sector Data: Sectoral Breakdown of Credit, e-Payment Channels and Staff Strength (Q2 2018) data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have shown that banks staff strength rose by 12 per cent in the first half of 2018 from 90,923 staff recorded at the end of December 2017, even as number of junior staff dropped with increased number of contract staff.

According to the data, the staff strength fell from 90,923 in December 2017 to 89,608 in March 2018 and then rose to 101,861 in June 2018.

An analysis of the data from December 2017 to June 2018 showed that the number of junior staff dropped by 1031 but the number of contract staff rose by 11,561, causing the total increase in banks’ staff strength within the period to settle at 10,938.

According to the report, whereas the number of executive staff and senior staff rose from 204 to 213 and from 16,745 to 17,144 respectively within the period from the report, a further breakdown of the data revealed that, commercial banks contributed 11,508.

This, further account for 99.5 percent of the total 11,561 increase in the number of contract staff within the period under review.

In an interview with a development economist, Dr. Ken Igboanugo, he said “There have been allegations over the recruitment strategy deployed by Nigerian banks to recruit contract staff to replace permanent staff as a way of cutting down cost associated to insurance, pension and allowances for the position”.

“This trend if not checked by the regulatory agency will lead to momentary leakage of critical personal and corporate data in banks to wrong hands and even hackers.

He said “A contract staff who is aware that his time with the bank will soon expire without any thing to fall back on may decide to mastermind a fraud and move away customers money ahead of leaving the bank”.

“Such fraudulent thoughts are usually associated with staff that lacks job security in his or her work place.

Dr. Igboanugo recalled that a number of frauds so far perpetrated in Nigerian banks have been discovered to have been made possible by an insider who usually have nothing to protect after all, stressing that “Every contract staff usually has nothing to protect especially when his or her time is getting up.

Besides, a labour leader who pleader anonymity called on the leadership of both Nigerian labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to take up the campaign against contract staff as way of taming the trend in the banking industry.

According to him, “Contract staffing is one of the key challenges in the nation’s oil and gas sector that has continued to keep workers retched whenever they leave service because there is always no retirement benefit or pension.”

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