The last has not been head of the staff promotion exercise recently carried out by the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as the bank under the leadership of the incumbent governor, Godwin Emefiele has made attempts to cover up the exercise which is full of nepotism and favouritism.
The bank had three weeks ago released a list of 552 persons out of a total of 2342 staff who sat for the 2016 promotion examination conducted in 2017 as those who passed and were subsequently promoted to the next position in the hierarchy.
Staff of the bank believes that the 552 promoted staff which include Deputy Directors, Assistant Directors, Principal Managers, Senior Managers among others are sons, daughters, relatives and friends of influential Nigerians and top government officials.
The outcome of the promotion exercise prompted staff to threaten a strike action as well as calls for the sack of Emefiele.
Abusidiqu had exclusively reported that staff of the bank accused Emefiele of raising the cut-off mark of the promotion examination to 85% in a bid to ensure that most of them who sat for the examination did not pass the promotion. This is even as they alleged that the cut-off mark did not apply to the 552 promoted staff who were favoured for the promotion.
Following the report by Abusidiqu, Emefiele is said to have quickly called for a town hall meeting to appeal to the staff to shelve their plans to embark on strike as well as demand for his resignation or sack by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Sources present at the meeting said that Emefiele promised to expedite actions on a lot of issues bordering on the staff welfare, particularly their promotion.
But while staff were still trying to digest the words of the CBN governor, one of the staff whose name appeared as having failed the promotion exercise and so was not included in the list of 552 persons promoted was suddenly promoted.
“Wonders shall never end as far as CBN 2016 Promotion Exercise is concern: A Staff of IT Department Named Sandro Jatau is among those that received a mail from HR that he didn’t pass his 2016 promotional exams but all of a sudden his system status have change from AM to DM,” a message circulated among staff of the bank reads.
The development came as a rude shock to the other staff as it further triggered their earlier decision to embark on strike and petition President Muhammadu Buhari calling for the sack of Emefiele.
But in a desperate attempt to cover up the obvious fraud in the promotion exercise, the CBN management on Tuesday published an information on the bank’s intranet portal informing staff that Sandro Jatau and 8 others were promoted, while 13 others were given cash reward for carrying out what the bank described as special assignment.
The news on the bank’s intranet portal titled “promotion and cash reward to twenty two staff for carrying out a special assignment”, the bank said was done with the approval of the Committee of Governors of the bank.
“The Committee of Governors at its 540th meeting held on 31st January, 2018 considered and approved amongst others the memoranda on non-deliverable over the counter FX futures (NDF) transactions and the development of early warning systems for banking supervision,” it reads.
It went further to list those given cash reward to include One Special Assistant, Five Deputy Directors, Two Assistant Directors and One Principal Manager. Others are One Senior Manager, One Deputy Manager and Two Assistant Managers.
Those who were promoted as contained in the circulated information include Two principal Managers, Two Senior Managers, One Manager, who incidentally is Sandro Jatau whose name suddenly appeared as promoted after he was informed of not passing the promotion examination as well as One Assistant Manager and Two Senior Supervisors & equivalent.
However, staff questioned the sudden release of the circular calling it an an attempt to cover up the fraud that constituted the promotion exercise.
One of the staff who spoke to Abusidiqu on the condition of anonymity said the circular released by the bank is an afterthought having realised that the fraud in the promotion exercise has been uncovered.
“The result of the promotion exercise was published on 2nd February, 2018 and the so called COG meeting which never held was claimed to have held on the 31st January, 2018. If the COG meeting took place earlier than the date of the publication of the outcome of the promotion exercise, why then was the COG’s decision not published before announcing the result of the promotion since they are claiming that Mr. Jatau and 8 others were promoted because of their participation in some project, even though they also took part in the 2016 promotion exercise,” the staff queried.
The staff further said that it has never been the practice of the bank to reward staff for carrying out any special assignment as all staff are required to carry out any task assigned to him or her as part of the responsibility of the job.
“It is also on record that the Bank had never before promoted or gave out cash to staff because of their participation in projects. Staff are paid to work for the Bank and this work include participating in projects, and almost all staff of the Bank or majority of them have participated in at least one project during their career.”
“Why then are these 9 staff rewarded with promotion when 1900 others were illegally failed, claiming they did not meet the cut-off mark? Can you now see the injustice,” he asks.
Meanwhile, the Emefiele-led management of the bank in a desperate effort to cover up many atrocities going in the nation;s apex financial institution introducing different measures to ensure that information are closely guarded from reaching the press.
The bank’s management at the close of business on Tuesday gave a matching order that no staff should stay beyond the closing hours henceforth.
“This is one of the recent strategies employed by the Bank to stop aggrieved staff from voicing out their grievances to the media,” one of the staff who choose not to be mentioned said.
Last week, the management of the bank blocked members of staff from using its corporate network to send or receive mails.
The notice of the restriction was communicated in an email sent by a Deputy Director in the Information Technology Department, Jide Samuel Avbasoyamen.
According to the email, access to webmail applications like Gmail, Yahoo mail, hotmail etc has been blocked, stating that the directive is in line with CBN’s policy on ‘acceptable use of IT’ as well as the approval of the Council of Governors (COG).
While hinging the decision on the “increased threat to the bank’s information assets through phishing and data leakage, Avbasoyamen stated that “staff are therefore to know that they will no longer be able to send or receive emails Yahoo, Gmail, hotmail and other webmail applications on the bank’s corporate network.”
Mr Avbasoyamen further added that: “staff may however continue to receive or send emails on their Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail accounts on their personal devices.”
“While we remain committed to facilitating access to IT resources anytime, anywhere and from any device, you will agree that this needs to be done in a controlled and secured manner. We therefore, seek for your support and understanding to keep CBN cyber safe,” the email concludes.
Abusidiqu however gathered that the decision of the bank’s management to restrict webmail access is not unconnected with the exclusive report it published two weeks ago detailing plans by the staff to down tools and petition president Buhari to demand for the sack of Emefiele.
The petition which highlighted massive corruption, contract scam, employment and promotion scam, forex round tripping amongst many others will be published in our subsequent report.
Efforts to speak to the bank management proved abortive as calls and text messages sent to the Director of Corporate Affairs, Isaac Okoroafor were not returned.