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Disquiet as CBN redeploys 8 directors to FSS, anxiety grips staff over layoffs

In a move that has sent shockwaves through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), eight directors have been redeployed to the Financial Sector Surveillance (FSS) Department in the Maitama office.

The decision has raised concerns among staff members who fear that it could be a prelude to more redeployments and possibly layoffs.

The FSS Department is often seen as a less prestigious posting within the CBN, and the redeployment of eight directors there has been likened to being sent to “Siberia.”

The move has fueled speculation that the CBN is under pressure to re-jig its workforce and more redeployment could be in the offing.

A source, who confirmed the redeployments, told The Nation that “nothing happens at the FSS. Instead of sacking these directors, they were sent to Siberia.”

The source also revealed that other directors who were moved last week include Dr. Mahmoud Hassan, formerly of the Monetary Policy Department, who now heads the Trade and Exchange Department, and the former Director of Human Resources, who has been moved to Capacity.

The redeployment started over two weeks ago and has generated anxiety among other staff members of the bank.

It was reliably gathered that “the directors were redeployed as part of efforts by the new CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso and his team of Deputy Governors to restructure the apex bank.”

One of the affected directors sent to FSS is Mr. Philip Yusuf Yila, who served as the Director of Development Finance of the CBN.

Under Yila’s leadership, the DFD played a crucial role in supporting businesses through increased access to finance for priority sectors under a variety of programmes such as the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), the Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS), and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) and disbursement to households and small businesses during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic to cushion the impact of the consequent lockdown.

The DFD reduced the cost of finance for priority sectors through a variety of initiatives, including the Interest Rate Reduction Scheme (IRS) and the Refinancing and Rediscounting Scheme (RRF).

The new CBN Governor, Yemi Cardoso, has criticised these quasi-fiscal policies of his predecessor, Godwin Emefiele, saying that they resulted in N10 trillion being pumped into the economy through intervention programmes.

Cardoso has pledged to address these issues and restore corporate governance at the CBN.

The redeployment of eight directors to FSS is likely to further fuel the speculation that the CBN is considering more drastic measures directed at the workforce.


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