The mass resignation of software engineers in most commercial banks across the country for greener’s pasture abroad, is currently threatening digitisation in the banking sector, LEADERSHIP can exclusively reveal.
This is coming as a disincentive to the cashless banking initiative, where every banking transaction is expected to be digitised. However, the development is obstructing seamless operation of electronic and mobile banking systems across banks.
It was learnt that about 500 software engineers have, since the beginning of this year, till now, secured better offers abroad, majorly in Canada and European countries where the emolument far outweighs what they are being paid in the Nigerian banking sector as they are paid in foreign currency at a time the nation’s Naira has seriously depreciated.
Aside these 500 engineers, about 1,000 other staff have so far resigned their appointments in deposit money banks to pick up juicy offers abroad, even as there are indications that more engineers and bank staff will also join them in the months ahead as the nation’s economy becomes harsher and operating environment becomes unbearable.
The development has disrupted the succession plan of many banks as more bank staff seek greener pastures outside the country.
This mass exodus, investigation shows, was responsible for hitches in electronic and mobile banking operations of most banks in the country as they struggle to find suitable replacements for those that have left their services.
Complaints from bank customers on electronic and mobile banking platforms have intensified in recent months, making it obvious, the challenges facing the banking system.
Over the last few months, thousands of Nigerians have moved out of the country either as students or have gotten jobs outside the country.
These have affected most industries across the economy but the banking industry is beginning to feel the brunt of it. The situation has gotten so bad that it came up as an issue for discussion at the Bankers’ Committee meeting which held in April this year.
For example, a major bank in the country, having noticed the trend of resignations, had earlier moved up its promotion process as a way to encourage the staff to remain. The bank had even increased its package for the workers and promoted 450 staff. Unfortunately, less than two weeks after the promotion, over 150 of those promoted resigned and left the country.
With no bank spared the exodus of talents, the bank chief executives had resorted to finding a solution to the brain drain by coming together to train more staff for their depleting human resource.
Managing director and chief executive of Sterling Bank, Abubakar Sulieman, at the end of the Bankers Committee meeting in April this year had noted that banks in the country will be collaborating with the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) to increase training particularly in the software engineering area.
Sulieman affirming that the issue had come up at the Bankers Committee, said: “we extensively discussed the impact of the great resignation, where with so many of varied experience talent, especially in the areas of software engineering, either leaving the industry or leaving the country.”
Thus, he said, the banks had committed to using industry platform, the CIBN, to drive the process of training more skills in the areas where there has been evident deficit.
This, he said, is “in the hope that this would improve the availability of talent within the banking sector to drive innovation. This will be funded by the industry and will be part of our contribution towards talent development.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP at the weekend on this development, president of CIBN, Mr. Ken Opara noted that, the industry is currently suffering from talent drain.
According to him, “this year alone, there is a whole lot of resignations and people leaving the industry particularly the younger ones. The figure is quite high.
The CIBN President, Mr. Ken Opara had noted that the talent drain in the sector is “basically because they feel that they need an environment where they can guarantee their job security and have a flexible working environment and also the fact that you don’t need to always dress officially to do your job, you don’t need to wear suit or tie. Where you don’t necessarily need to be in the office to do your job and can work remotely. The concept of remote working is what appeals to them.
“The concept of flexible working hours where you can work in one place and in other places is also what appeals to them. The concept of having to dress casual is also part of what appeals to them.
Then of course the fact that they don’t need to be in a particular place for a long period of time as much as possible.”
For the Information and Communication sector, the story is not so different as a lot of tech developers are either leaving Nigeria in search for ICT job that pays better or working remotely, LEADERSHIP findings have revealed.
Recruiting in the tech industry is on the rise, with foreign companies reporting they are hiring “at or beyond pre-pandemic levels,” the Robert Half Technology’s 2022 IT salary report revealed.
The most in-demand tech jobs for 2022 are Information security analyst, security analysts, Software developer, Network and computer systems administrator, Computer programmer, web developer, Computer and information systems manager and system analyst, among others, said CIO.
The managing director and CEO, eStream Network, Martins Akingba, told LEADERSHIP Newspaper that brain drain is a major challenge in the ICT sector, as a lot of developers have migrated to other countries in search of greener pastures.
However, the CEO said majority of business owners have decided to go into automation. “We implement processes on systems that automate our operations, such that even when people go, it will not disrupt our business,” he explained.
Though, there is no statistic that revealed tech workers’ migration, the President of Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Mr. Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, told LEADERSHIP that there is a trend in recent times.
The reason for that is not far-fetched, Mba-Uzoukwu said, adding that, most institutions in Nigeria have not fully deployed local solutions to local problems. Majority of the IT-enabled organisations in the country still depend on foreign countries for solutions.
When asked if there are software developers to meet the needs of organisations in the country, Mba-Uzoukwu said: “Nigeria as a country is blessed with great software developers. We have programmers who have come up with several solutions to our local problems, but organizations sometimes don’t patronise them, as they prefer to import solutions or software from China and other countries.”
Banks’ Senior Staff Lament Redundancy
President and founder of Royal FM 95.1Mhz Ilorin, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, at the 5th Students Union leadership Summit of Kwara State University, said, it will be difficult to talk about a better Nigeria without considering the negative impact of mass migration of youthful population on the economy and its future.
Adebayo said migration may imposes high human capital cost for the country by leaving the country without the human capital necessary to achieve long-term economic growth.
He revealed that the migration problem is due to lack of employment and social guarantees on the young population and not due to any political persecution.
“The most negative impact on our country is the fact that young graduates (and our highly skilled professionals) leave the country for better opportunities. Today many of our engineers, IT specialists, doctors, nurses, engineers, and very brilliant professionals are lost to other countries,” he added.
Adebayo said, Nigeria has great potentials, adding that, “we are blessed with many natural resources, we are free of many natural disasters, a large proportion of our population are young people an age bracket that mist of you in this hall belong to, if you JAPA the country will rely on foreigners for needed skills in the future.