In a statement by Fela Ibidapo, Group Head, Corporate Communications, the bank “announced the restructuring of its workforce, as part of efforts geared towards greater efficiency and resource optimization, in line with its growth and industry innovative agenda designed to strengthen the bank’s business across all markets where it operates.”
NAN had reported on Monday that the bank “embarked on mass retrenchment of its workers with 400 staff sacked in December,” adding “that more workers are penciled for sack.”
The report stated that “a top management source in the bank, who pleaded anonymity, said that the sack cut across the top, middle and low cadres.”
Ibidapo had told NAN that the figures were not correct, adding that the mass sack was not limited to the bank as it cut across all operators in the industry.
According to a statement from the bank, the “restructuring process” was to up scale the institution’s activities in the strategic sectors of the economy as well as concentrating on and deploying its expertise and competences to specific business areas where it enjoys comparative business advantage.
“The bank also disclosed the elevation of some members of its workforce with higher responsibilities, which is in line with its on-going determination to reposition.There is no doubt that the banking industry like every other sector in the country is going through rough times occasioned by the downward trend in the economy, hence the move was part of the bank’s strategic plan to keep a vibrant workforce that will enable the bank achieve its vision of being the Nigerian most innovative banking of choice in service delivery, superior returns to its various stakeholders and as well contribute to the growth of the nation’s economy.
This position is buttressed by the fact that the bank is well known for supporting small businesses, which is another way of bringing as many small businesses as possible together in a bid to add value to MSME sector of the economy.
Heritage Bank has deliberately focused on the SME segment in a bid to create a fresh set of vibrant entrepreneurs that will create jobs and distribute wealth in the Nigerian economy because of recent statistics which indicate high unemployment among the youths that make up a large percentage of the population.
One of its initiatives in the MSME sector is its partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) under the N3 billion CBN Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YIEDP) which is targeted at youth, particularly current serving National Youth Corps members and those within five years post-service exit.
The bank launched a N500 million Young Entrepreneurs and Students (YES) Grant in Lagos. The initiative, which is in partnership with the Nigerian Youth Professional Forum (NYPF), will, according to the bank, support students and young entrepreneurs toward socio-economic freedom.
Also, in furtherance of its commitment to creating jobs and wealth, Heritage Bank in partnership with the Center for Value Leadership (CVL) developed various impact-driven programmes to empower the youths and women particularly in the under-developed communities in Lagos State and one of these is the Young Entrepreneurship Business Training Programme (YEBTP).The YEBTP is a programme aimed at grooming, mentoring, and financing 100 aspiring and existing young micro entrepreneurs in Ajegunle, Lagos State. This will be achieved in the form of a grant scheme of about N8.5million, in which the funds will be used to purchase the equipment needed by the entrepreneurs to start their businesses,” the bank stated.