Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), Honourable Minister of State for Labour and Employment

Nigeria begins payment of stipends to 774,000 SPW job beneficiaries

*After the release of some of the funds by the Ministry of Finance for the payment of Special Public Works stipends, I directed rigorous scrutiny of the bank accounts of the participants before payment ─Festus Keyamo (SAN), Minister of State for Labour and Employment

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Following the reported delay in paying the participants on the programme, the Federal Government has commenced partial payment of the N20, 000 monthly stipends to the 774,000 beneficiaries of the Special Public Works programme in Nigeria.

Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), Honourable Minister of State for Labour and Employment, disclosed this in a statement Sunday, April 18, in Abuja, FCT.

The workers on the scheme were said to have grumbled about the earlier delayed payment of their stipends.

ConsumerConnect reports the Special Public Works (SPW) is the initiative of the Federal Government in collaboration with the National Directorate of Employment.

The programme seeks to identify and exploit employment opportunities that abound in the public works sector by organising the skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled persons that are unemployed to carry out utility, environmental, infrastructural development and sanitation works across the country.

However, the government attributed the delay to the mismatch of Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) and other details supplied by the beneficiaries.

The Minister while giving an update on the payment issue via his verified Twitter account Sunday stated that Access Bank had verified accounts for payment while the National Directorate of Employment had commenced payment into the accounts domiciled in the bank.

The government is waiting for Zenith, UBA, FCMB, Fidelity, Heritage and Yobe Micro-finance Banks to clean up the anomalies, said Keyamo.

The statement noted: “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.”

The Minister further said: “Because of our determination to eliminate fraud, I further directed the NDE (National Directorate of Employment) 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 added 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,” he stated.

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