I got the scoop just a few hours ago that Oceanic Bank PLC (the macro-finance bank, if you like), has banned their (over 6000) employees access to Facebook, the world’s leading social networking site.
This move by the management of the bank, under the new MD/CEO, Mr. John Aboh comes just about 1 week after the bank’s financial illness was diagnosed by the CBN. It also comes at a crucial time when social media is being adopted massively by some banks in Nigeria.
Could it be that Oceanic Bank is not interested in engaging with their customers via social media channels?
Update: Now when employees try to access Facebook from the Oceanic Bank servers, they get a message like this:
Content blocked by your organization
Reason: This Websense category is filtered: Social Networking and Personal Sites.
While it is true that access to social networking sites such as Facebook during working hours could affect employee productivity, some employees feel that the site allows them to unwind (keeping in touch with friends, etc) when the stress of work is much.
Other employees of the bank are not bothered, since they might as well bring their laptops to work or access Facebook from their mobile devices. I bet some would have bought their Blackberry mobile devices within the hour or so just to keep Facebooking at work.
But shouldn’t work be kept in its proper place?
Hey, I know many organizations such as Google where work and fun are combined, but one should understand if this is happening in a bank that has the largest non-performing loans in its financial books in the history of Nigeria’s financial industry.
While I’m not sure if this is an outright ban of the site, there are indications that the bank makes the site available from 5pm or so. That way, employees who have handled the most important details of their daily activities, could at least access the site for a few minutes before the official closing time at 6pm.
Whatever the case, I think this incident may not have much negative effect on Facebook users from Nigeria (now over 600, 000), as no one can really stop the Facebook frenzy in Nigeria.
Not even Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
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