The Federal Government said it has commenced partial payment of the N20,000 monthly stipend to the 774,000 beneficiaries of the Special Public Works programme but discrepancies in beneficiaries information has delayed disbursements.
The Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Sunday. The workers had grumbled about the delayed payment of their stipends which the government attributed to the mismatch of Bank Verification Numbers and other details supplied by the beneficiaries.
But giving an update on the payment issue on his Twitter handle, Keyamo said Access Bank has verified accounts for payment while the National Directorate of Employment has commenced payment into accounts with the bank.
The Minister said the government was waiting for Zenith, UBA, FCMB, Fidelity, Heritage and Yobe Micro-finance Banks to clean up the anomalies.
Keyamo stated: “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.”
Keyamo said the determination of the government to ensure that those selected for the programme get paid “to assist them in these tough times 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.”