While responding to the reports, Mr Abdul Imoyo, the bank’s Media Relations officer, urged its customers and the general public to disregard the reports, stating that branches were closed at the onset of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Describing it as misleading, he maintain that the structure of the lockdown has been relaxed, the branches will be reopened in a phased approach and with adherence to physical distancing guidelines.
We advised the public when we closed over 540 branches (60 left to operate) in response to our business continuity plan for crisis of this nature. This was further buttressed by the Lagos State and subsequently the FGN’s stay-at-home or work from home order.
With the proposed lifting of that order from May 4th, we recognise that the threat of the virus is still out there and are planning to do a phased opening of the branches.
So yes an additional 200 branches (bringing the total to 260) would be opened in the first phase. The staff at the frontline are also people’s sons, daughters, wives, husbands e.t.c and we have to be very mindful how we expose them. So staff would also be rotated.
We have however made arrangements to pair the branches so customers whose branches are yet to be opened can be served from an alternate branch and those messages are going out to customers over this weekend and by Monday.
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