CONTROVERSY, ANGER AS ACCESS BANK SACKS 200 AND PAYS MARIAH CAREY N200 MILLION

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AccessnBank Mariah CareyAccess Bank has come under fire for reportedly laying off 200 staff around the yuletide season only to turn around and celebrate a Christmas party at the exotic InterContinental Hotel, Lagos being serenaded by American Diva, Mariah Carey at the jaw-dropping fee of N200 Million.

It would be recalled that Access Bank laid off close to 2,000 staff in January 2012 upon the acquisition of Intercontinental Bank. The Bank has since continued with its internal restructuring that has seen it move to being among the top 5 banks in Nigeria. Its financial performance as at 2012 was on the upswing as Access Bank only recently reported a 116% increase in its third quarter profit before tax.

According to reports on its website Access Bank “recorded another quarter of solid growth across its core business lines. The Bank’s Profit Before Tax (PBT) increased by 116% from N18.1billion recorded in 2011 to N39.1billon in 2012 while Gross Earnings grew by 88%; from N86.3billion to N162.3billion to highlight the Bank’s increased earning capacity. The Bank’s growth in profitability is hinged on its increased size and operational efficiency as it benefits from merger synergies from the recent acquisition of Intercontinental Bank Plc and increased focus to deliver value to customers.”

The Bank’s performance in 2013 however declined in comparison to 2012 as it announced in August this year a profit after tax of N20.7 billion for the first half of the year ended June, 2013. The amount represented a decline by 22.5 per cent compared to the N26.7 billion recorded in the comparable period of 2012. Its gross earnings also dipped by 5.3 per cent to N104.1 billion, as against the N109.9 billion it realised as at June 2012.

It notes on its website that “Access Bank Plc is a full service commercial Bank operating through a network of 310 branches and service outlets located in major centres across Nigeria with subsidiaries in Sub-Saharan Africa and the United Kingdom. Listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1998, the Bank serves its various markets through 5 business segments: Institutional, Commercial, Retail Banking, Transaction Services and Financial Markets.”

Following this mixed bag of blessings for the bank kindly reflect on the following posers:

1)      Is Access Bank being fair to its staff i.e the Geese that are laying the golden eggs for its obvious measured success

2)      Is Access Bank justified to spend so much in paying for a foreign artiste only a few weeks after this reported lay-off

3)      Is Access Bank justified in spending so much on ‘importing’ a foreign musician at such costs when less than 10% of the reported sum will get at least 3 A-list Nigerian performers

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