No fewer than 500 additional names of civil servants and pensioners with BVN-related cases are to appear before the BVN Verification committee in the second batch of the screening exercise in Akwa Ibom State.
Commissioner for Finance, Akan Okon made this known in Uyo while receiving the report of the first batch of the BVN screening exercise as presented by the Chairman of the standing BVN verification committee. The Commissioner said the deployment of Bank Verification Number as a yardstick for payment of salaries and pensions in the State became necessary to effectively deal with high level of irregularities in the payroll system.
He announced that the verification exercise would be a continuos one ” to safeguard the payroll system in such a way that it is not open to sharp practices and ensure funds are paid to genuine workers”. Mr Akan Okon expressed the appreciation of the State government to theChairman and members of the BVN verification committee for working tirelessly to deliver the assignment which he said will chart a new course for the payroll system and also go a long way to streamline and secure it for the common good of all.
He expressed the hope that the experience the committee members have garnered during the first phase of the screening will aid in making this second phase of the exercise less cumbersome, urging them to see it as a sacrifice for a greater tomorrow while praying God to grant them good health and the enablement to discharge the job creditably.
Presenting the report of the first batch of the BVN screening to the Finance Commissioner, the Chairman of the committee and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mrs Eme-ete Imuk in her remarks said out of the 1458 Bvn cases brought before the committee, 1193 civil servants and pensioners were cleared after their BVNs were confirmed , which paved way for payment of their arrears of salaries for April and May.
Mrs Imuk pointed out that those not cleared were pending cases ranging from affected persons’ failure to appear before the committee, civil servants who took up political appointment without following the required procedure, pensioners that took up fresh appointment in the civil service after retirement, as well as double or multiple salary collections.
She said the verification program yielded positive result as it was an avenue to effect corrections for those who were assigned wrong BVN, and also availed those who had non to get one. She further stated that names of pensioners who took up fresh appointment have been dropped from the payroll , while the committee has made recommendations for appropriate actions on cases where civil servants have multiple pay points, as well as civil servants that took up political office and still collecting salaries. The committee Chairman thanked the State government for the privilege given them to serve in that capacity, and expressed the desire of the committee to continue to work very hard to deliver the assignment .
The event was witnessed by other members of the Committee namely, the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Head of Civil Service, Mrs Eno Offiong,Mni, Permanent Secretary ,Department of Establishment , Mrs Stella Etukakpan, and Director, Computer Centre in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Sunday Udioko . Others were ,Chairman of Nigerian Labor Congress, Comrade Etim Ukpong, Secretary ,Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Obong Cosmos among others. State government had constituted an 8-man Inter-ministerial team to look into cases of BVN problems relating to civil servants and pensioners.