Crisis looms in Afribank as defunct Agents threaten class action over allowance

Savings Agents recruited by Afribank Nigeria Plc (Afribank) under the auspices of A-Save Forum has threatened class action against the Bank over unpaid allowances. The Agents who were recruited by the bank in year 2008 made this affirmation to investadvocate recently in Lagos Nigeria. 

This was contained in a letter dated May 18, 2010 by A-Save Agents and addressed to the office of the Group Managing Director/CEO OF Afribank. The letter titled “A-SAVE AGENTS DEMAND” reads thus:


“Following the indefinite and unnotified suspension of A-Save agents in the bank by the management and the eventual submission of the bank’s document at our disposal, the A-Save agents therefore demand within two weeks of this writing.


1.     The release of their N100,000 operational security deposit. To this end, we request the management to give definite instruction to branch HOPS to this effect.

2.     The payment of our unpaid 2% commission on our monthly mobilized deposit from inception, as stipulated in our appointment letter.

3.     The payment of all our outstanding N25,000 transport allowance. The months prorated contrary to the prescriptions of our appointment letter should be corrected.


Find attached, a sample copy of our offer letter. We want to assure that we will not hesitate to apply the several legitimate weapons at our disposal to seek justice if the proper thing is not done within the given time”


Another document attached to this petition and made available to investadvocate is a copy of A-Save Agents remuneration template showing the production of three Agents as at March 25 2010.


The Agents accused the Bank of not keeping to its own part of the bargain as contained in the appointment letter issued to them November 03, 2008. Two of the Agents (names withheld) confirmed to investadvocate that the Bank is reaping off its Agents recruited to market “A-Save” a product created to mobilize savings deposits for Afribank.


“Concerning the issue at stake, there were things that the bank wrote in the appointment letter which has not been met, these include two percent (2.0%) per annum interest on total savings deposit mobilized per month should be given and the refund of the balance of pro-rated N25, 000 as transport allowance per month.


“There is a statement made on the offer letter affirming that the N25, 000 as transport allowance should be paid based on the number of days worked for during the month; this Afribank for sometime has stopped doing. At the onset, we were paid the N25, 000, but before terminating our appointments, most of us were paid N5, 000 and less regardless of if you made full attendance. Afribank is just paying the way it wants, what we are saying is that the Bank should abide by the terms of offer issued to us” the Agent said.


They further indicted Afribank of withholding the N100, 000 security deposits which was made available to the Bank on acceptance of the offer. “The Bank should do the right thing; pay us our allowances and the N100, 000 security deposits we paid; since our appointment has been terminated without any formal letter to that effect. Also, we are going to carryout a class action on the Bank to let the whole world see what they are doing to us”. The Agent affirmed.


One of the appointment letters made available to investadvocate dated February 03, 2009 and co-signed by Amos O. Olagunju Manpower Planning and Development and M. Abubakar Head, Human Capital Management states thus:


“We refer to your application and are pleased to inform you that we have decided to offer you an appointment as a SAVINGS AGENT with effect from November 03, 2008.


You will be required to mobilize a minimum of N100, 000.00 per day.


The following conditions will be applicable.


§  Transport Allowance N25,000.00 per month

§  2% per annum interest on total savings deposit mobilized per month

§  Open an account with N100,000.00 as initial take off working capital

§  Provision of two (2) sureties to execute a bond


Please note that payment of the transport allowance of N25, 000.00 should be pro-rated based on the number of days worked for during the month”


Right now these Agents are indicting one Mr. Olaide in charge of the A-Save product of complacency and conniving to deny them of the balance of allowances and N100, 000 initial take off working capital which the Bank mandated them to deposit beforehand. “Mr. Olaide has been using people; maybe because he is in the Head Office, after working for close to two years, he will be paying us N10,000, N5,000.allowance instead of the N25,000 as contained in the appointment letter” another Agent confirmed.


These dissatisfied agents further affirmed that some of their colleagues have worked closed to two years since the inception of the A-Save product, met their targets and no interest paid to them all these period. “I have worked for over a year now and some for about two years and no two percent interest paid to anybody; even those who had performed” he lamented.


He affirmed that some of the Agents despite the fact that they were producing were not paid their allowances for about three months before now. They further accused the Bank of terminating their appointments without officially communicating them; the way they did on appointing them as Savings Agents.


As at the time of filling in this Report, investadvocatevisited Afribank to clarify issues with Moshood Isamotu, the man in charge of Corporate Affairs of the Bank.


Isamotu confirmed to us that the Savings Agents were asked to go for now; due to the fact that the product is being redefined. “We request that they handover to core Afribank Marketing staff; who would in turn service the customers brought by these agents” he said.


He further confirmed to investadvocate that the N100, 000 initial takeoff working capital mobilized by the Agents are yet to be paid to them; because the Bank is trying to make sure that the Agents did not collect money from customers and run away. ”We have to indemnify the Bank incase some of them collected money from customers and run away, thus we ask them to give us three months to make sure that all loopholes are blocked; before we start to refund them the money” he affirmed.


“The A-Save was stopped April 2010 and not until June 2010 before we begin to refund the N100, 000.we collected from them” Isamotu said.


He requested that investadvocate should ask the A-Save complainants to get in touch with his office so that their case would personally be resolved. Please give them my phone number or direct them to come and see me; so that we can personally resolve their matter if they have no case to answer.

However, unconfirmed Reports has it that the customers brought to Afribank by these Agents are not happy with the Bank and would prefer doing business with the Agents whom they are acquainted with; instead of the core Afribank staff assigned to takeover.


Following this, the A-save Agents further affirmed that that the core marketing staff of Afribank mandated to handle these accounts are finding it difficult to do so as these A-Save customers are not co-operating with them; which has affected to some extent deposit mobilization of the bank.


As at the time of filling in this Report, investadvocate could not confirm the production and attendance records of these Agents to substantiate their claims. However, a Banker (name withheld) confirmed that interest accrue on a daily basis; therefore, the A-Save Agents are entitled to a daily interest on any N100, 000 mobilized per day. “Their interest should be calculated on a daily basis and paid to them at the end of the year” the Banker said.

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