Things have not been the same for members of staff of the Intercontinental Bank Plc since the merger of the bank with Access Bank was approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Though many raised questions bothering on the take over especially with United Alliance whose two Managing Directors, (Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and Herbert Wigwe) also run Access Bank being top on Intercontinental Bank’s debtor’s list with N 16 billion, the Central Bank went on to approve the merger.
Street Journal found out that one of the first steps taken by the new owners of Intercontinental was a pay cut. The cut was based on the Access Bank Board’s judgment that Intercontinental was overpaying its staff and that was one of the things that got them into trouble.
Some of the branches that hitherto belonged to Intercontinental are already undergoing renovation to put them in the shape that would suit the taste of the new owners.
In another move recently, Aig Imoukhuede instructed all staff of Intercontinental Bank Plc to pay up their share loans within 30 days or get sacked. Street Journal gathered that the loans had been taken over by AMCON during Lai Alabi’s time as the bank’s MD.
A senior member of staff of Access Bank however described the allegation that Access was out to frustrate Intercontinental staff as “spurious”. According to him, “Aig did not tell anybody to pay up or get sacked. Many of the Intercontinental Bank staff who resigned did so out of fear and of course because they are HND holders. Many of them resigned because they were informed that they would have to do a credit test and pass in a maximum of two sittings or resign. If they had said that, I would have agreed that its true. And that rule has been there since inception; all Access Bank Staff have taken the test and passed.”
Another member of staff however pointed out that the “pay or get sacked” order was real after all. He disclosed that Aig Imoukhuede said it in a meeting which was attended by about 80 Intercontinental Bank staff who were involved. Aig Imoukhuede was quoted as saying that after sacking them, he would personally chase them for the recovery. Those who summoned courage to tell him that the loan had been taken over by AMCON were ordered to get out of the meeting.