Hardship : Staff Of NOVA Bank Get 50 Percent Salary Increase

By Lateef Aegbite

Those who thinks that it is the only the welfare of the Board of Directors and Management Team of Banks that  are  rewarded on a yearly basis  may have do a rethink.  The Board of Directors of the NOVA Merchant Bank appears to have changed that narrative   as  it has announces major  increase in  staff salaries .

Informed sources told The Value News that the Bank Board    has approved a 50% increase in salary across all staff categories, meaning that the Management Team are inclusive.  The NOVA Mer- chant Bank Board of Directors    werer said to have announced the substantial increase in the staff take home pay  on November 1, 2023.

Many see the Bank’s  Board of Directors move to increase the staff monthly salary  as  a display  of its commitment  to its workforce  which was said to have come few months  after  it had announced  the approval of its  shareholders to transition  into a full fledged Commercial  Bank, to mark a new  era of operation in the Bank.

They see the NOVA Merchant Bank Board’s decision to review upwards the salary of the staff as being orchestrated by  the impact  of the escalating  cost of  living i the country  and the harsh global economic situations. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, had alluded to the high cost of living  and high inflation in the country  which is now  over 28.9% in his 2024, new year message to Nigerians.

This may have informed why the Board members and their family members who are also facing the same challenges presented by the prevailing economic situations in the most populous African country had no option but to make a bold statement by taking proactive steps to tackle these issues and to forestall losing their staff to other Banks which pays better.

Onyedeji: MD, NOVA Bank

Wale Onyedeji, Managing Director, and Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of  NOVA Merchant Bank, who could not hide his feelings may have hit the nail on the head when he disclosed that after  ”a comprehensive  assessment  of the current  economic situations of the country and its negative  impact on the staff and their family members, the Board , has to realign  the staff salary to reflect  the economic realities of the bad .  times”

Onyedeji, the NOVA Bank CEO, confirmed that the Board approved 50% salary increase for all categories of staff  ”to show its commitment  to prioritize  employee  welfare  with an aim  to guarantee  their well-being  and financial stability”.

Hear him:We recognize  the implications  of the recent  economic policies of theTinubu’s Administration that had to do with the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, popular,  petrol and unification of the Autonomous Foreign Exchange market, AFEM on May 29, 2023., and the parallel, popular, black mark, foreign exchange market rates and have to put smiles on the faces of our staff.

Indeed, Tinubu had admitted that over the last seven months that, the Administration has taken  some difficult  decisions like the removal  of fuel subsidy and chokehold  of few people  on  the country foreign  exchange system  , which he had said, benefited only the rich  and most powerful  Nigerians.

He averred that  from ”the Boardrooms  at Broad street  in Lagos to the main streets of the ancient town of Kano and the Nembe Creeks  of Bayelsa”, home state  of former President Goodluck Jonathan, the story is the same: economic hardship due to high cost of transportation, leading to people’s frustrations.     

Given the Bank ‘s interest in capacity building to improve on its operations now that it has acquired a Commercial Bank status may have informed why it has commenced  the 2024  fiscal year, NOVA  Graduate Trainee  program, in Lagos,  the nation’s Commercial nerve center.

An insider informed the Magazine that Graduate Trainee program which was undertaken yearly  to refresh new employees  and equip them with the relevant skills  required  for modern banking  practice  driven by  cutting-edge  technologies , fostering  innovation  while preparing  them for leadership positions  in the future in the bank is being taking serious this year.

An elated Onyedeji, the Bank CEO, may have gladdened the heart of the staff    when he stated that the ne Management under his Leadership’’ places a premium on recognizing   and promoting outstanding performance  as integral to the bank’s  fundamental principles’’. He was said to have also emphasized belief that ‘’fostering  a harmonious approach  to both  professional  and personal growth  will significantly  enhance  the overall well-being  and satisfaction of its employees at all levels’’.  

While emphasizing the importance of the graduate trainee program, the NOVA Bank, CEO, noted  that the program ‘’is a pivotal initiative  for the bank to provide participants  with curriculum   taught by best –in-class  faculty  to empower them to create  superior value  in the markets all the Financial institutions in the country serve together.

He asserted that the Graduate trainee program   aligns with the Bank’s mission  ”to drive  the next revolution  wave of banking” , stressing that ‘’these new Graduate trainees  will play  a crucial role  in  shaping  the future  of the  nation’s financial services industry’’. 

Appealing to the Graduate trainees to see the program as the bank’s dedication to investing in human capital, he noted that it is the only ‘’to equip them with ‘’the essential skills and knowledge required to navigate their careers successfully’’.  

In a related development, there are indications that about 70% of the NOVA Bank staff are set to resume as the Bank prepares to commence operation on its Commercial Banking license issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, under the close watch of Olayemi Michael Cardoso, who is battling to firm up the value of the naira to other world major currencies at the official exchange rate market which cur. 

An insider confirmed that close   to 50% of these new staff were said to be participants in the bank   Graduate trainee program  as it continues  to poach other banks  attract talents  to help in driving its  vision  in Commercial  and retail banking space. 

Bede Alugbe, head of Human Capital and Culture Management in the Bank, had said that selecting the staff that will work in the new Commercial Bank followed a rigorous process, as it received over 1000 applications. ‘’We meticulously selected the best 49 graduates to undergo the intensive training program to become banking professionals.  According to him, ‘’  the Graduate trainee program  of the bank  offers valuable insights  to the new intakes of the bank   into the  global banking  business, providing essential skills and expertise  to drive innovative financial solutions.

Given an insider information, he stated that   NOVA Merchant Bank until it transformed into Commercial Banking operations with its new operational license from the CBN, was an Investment grade rated Merchant Bank in Nigeria that offers an integrated suite of financial solutions covering Financial intermediation, Wholesale and investment banking., Asset and Securities Management, Trade services, Cash Management, Transaction and Digital Banking.

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