Tension In CBN Over Appointments, Promotions

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ABUJA
— ALLEGED favouritism and politicization of appointments and promotion of staff
by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, are reportedly causing tension and
disaffection in the nation’s apex banking institution. Vanguard reliably
gathered that majority of the 1,861 senior and junior employees hired by the
bank in the last three years were recruited largely through the influence of
top bank officials and political actors in the administration, who see the apex
bank as a goldmine reserved for their kith and kin.
Similarly,
no fewer than 18 directors, assistant and deputy directors, were hired by
influential and powerful persons into its executive management cadre within the
period  though the bank claims that there are no vacancies in the top
cadre to warrant the promotion of overdue principal managers  into such
positions.

Bad blood

Several
appointments  made by the new management are said to be causing bad blood
in the apex bank including some made at the director  level of the apex
bank. In one instance a director was said to have been  ‘smuggled’ from
outside by a powerful clique into the bank recently even at a time the bank
claimed there was no vacancy for qualified senior bank staff to fill at the
director level.
Two new salary grades
Findings
revealed that over 200 Principal Managers, who graduated in various disciplines
from the universities and joined the apex bank between 1983 and 2007 and were
due for promotion into the Directorate Cadre of the CBN years ago, have been
denied promotion on the excuse that there are no vacancies in the Directorate
cadre. However, in a bid to ‘accommodate’ the affected staff, CBN created two
new grades: Principal Manager on CBN Salary Scale of 04.1 and Deputy Manager on
CBSS of 06, which are not provided for in its staff manual.
With
the new measure, Senior Managers, who would have automatically been promoted to
Assistant Directors, have been pegged at Principal Managers while Assistant
Managers will now spend several years as Deputy Managers before becoming
managers, a development seen as unduly delaying their rise in the bank.
But
in a dramatic twist, the grades of no fewer than 180 new employees of the bank
were recently adjusted even while they were on probation without recourse to
availability of vacancies, promotion interviews or examinations, raising
eyebrow in the process.
Appeal for promotion
 It
was based on the noticeable lopsided nature of appointments and promotions,
that the affected Principal Managers wrote to the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi
Lamido Sanusi, on June 16, 2012, pleading with him to cause them to be promoted
to their respective grades, having served the bank meritoriously without
blemish for over 20 years.
In
the letter entitled, “A passionate appeal for the promotion of Principal
Managers into Assistant Director Grade,” the aggrieved staff wrote: “Our appeal
is that you passionately look into the issue of Principal Managers who
graduated from 1983-1987 and worked in other notable organisations before
joining the CBN.
“We
have further improved our skills and acquired additional qualifications and
have served the bank meritoriously without blemish for over 20 years. We are
not unmindful of the budget implications of this exercise and we enjoin the
management to consider and approve the supplementary promotions without accrued
financial benefits to us.”
CBN ignores pleas
But
the CBN management is reported to have tactically ignored the plea of those not
promoted to their appropriate ranks on the grounds that many of them were
actually due to be flushed out to create room for new hands. A source familiar
with the development said the CBN governor did not believe that appointments
and promotion of staff should be based solely on years of experience and one’s
year of graduation from the university.
Mixed feelings
The
development has, however, generated mixed feelings from those familiar with the
bank’s history. For instance, in a letter addressed to the CBN, a former staff
of the bank who was in charge of the staff Joint Consultative Council, JCC,
warned that its deviation from laid down rules and regulations in the
recruitment and promotion of staff was likely to destroy the core values of the
apex financial institution.
Pensioner warns
Uke
Harriman, who is now a CBN pensioner, wrote the letter to Sanusi, on May 31,
2012 and asked the bank to stop introducing strange measures capable of
elongating the period of promoting qualified staff so as not to kill their
spirit of creativity and productivity.
Harriman
warned: “The haphazard promotion or appointment of employees without regard to
seniority, qualifications, experience and performance will create self-seeking
employees who will struggle to compensate in time for career advancement
disruption caused by appointing an officer far junior in rank, age and
qualification to them.
“As
this expectation is gradually being impressed on the psyche of the employees,
that any officer can be promoted to boss a senior officer who has been known to
be qualified, dynamic and dedicated to his duties, there will be a negative
adjustment to accept the situation.”
CBN committed no infraction
But
CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Ugo Okoroafor, told Vanguard in an
interview that the bank had not committed any infraction in its appointments
and promotions, as it has always followed due process in such matters.
Okoroafor, who defended the appointment of persons from outside into the bank
over the years, said the apex bank was not bound by any known law to use only
existing staff in its operations.
The
bank’s spokesman also dismissed as untenable allegations levelled against the
bank’s appointments at the director level saying that appointments made were
based on the outstanding performance of those engaged in thier previous
engagements.
Okoroafor
pointed out that the bank had no option than to create the two special grades
to accommodate the Principal Managers and Assistant Managers in the absence of
available vacancies to place them.
He
said: “There is no law in Nigeria saying that only staff who have spent
eternity in a workplace should become the heads of such places. The CBN is
empowered to recruit qualified Nigerian experts to meet its core mandate of
rendering quality banking services to the nation,” Okoroafor said.
Source: Vanguard

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