774,000 special public jobs: We discovered multiple accounts with same BVN, other irregularities ― Keyamo

In a bid to forestall any form of frauds in the payment of stipend to the 774,000 beneficiaries of the Special Public Works programme (SPWP), the Federal Government has discovered series of irregularities in the bank accounts submitted for the payment.

In what look like an intent to commit frauds through the programme, the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, revealed that multiple accounts with the same Bank Verification Number (BVN) were discovered while there were many accounts with BVN that are not in existence.

The minister, who said the government has commenced payment to some of the beneficiaries of the programme who are using the Access Bank, also disclosed that there were many bank accounts and BVNs submitted by the beneficiaries that did not match.

These discoveries were made possible following the rigorous scrutiny of the accounts of the participants before the payment of their stipends.

To ensure that the programme does not spiral into a vehicle for fraud, the minister has deliberately directed comprehensive scrutiny of all the accounts submitted for payment.

“We discovered instances of accounts not matching BVNs, multiple accounts bearing a single BVN, non-existent BVNs, etc,” the minister, who was giving an update on the payment on his Twitter handle, said.

The beneficiaries have complained about the delay in the payment of their stipends, which the minister attributed to a mismatch in BVNs and other details supplied by the beneficiaries.

The minister explained that those using Access Bank have been able to get their stipends because the bank has verified accounts for payment. He said the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has since commenced payment into accounts with Access Bank.

The Minister said the government was waiting for Zenith, UBA, FCMB, Fidelity, Heritage and Yobe Micro-finance Banks to clean up these anomalies and verified the accounts for immediate payment.

According to Keyamo: “After the release of some of the funds by the Ministry of Finance for the payment of SPW stipends, I directed rigorous scrutiny of the accounts of the participants before payment.

“We discovered instances of accounts not matching BVNs, multiple accounts bearing a single BVN, non-existent BVNs, etc. Because of our determination to eliminate fraud, I further directed the NDE to write to the banks to clean up these anomalies before commencing payments.

“So far, only Access Bank has responded with accounts verified for payment and the NDE has today commenced payment of those accounts with Access Bank.”

He pointed out that the government was determined to ensure that those selected for the programme are the ones that get paid “to assist them in these tough times.”

Keyamo added that this is also matched by “our determination to ensure that the programme does not spiral into a vehicle for fraud; not under the watch of Mr President; not under my watch.”

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