The Akwa Ibom State Government has discovered about one thousand, four hundred and fifty eight (1458)names of civil servants and pensioners with issues on their Bank verification number (BVN) .
The State Commissioner for Finance, Akan Okon announced this on Friday, in Uyo while inaugurating an eight- man BVN Verification Committee to address those anomalies on the Bank Verification Numbers to ensure credibility.
Speaking at the event, the Commissioner said the present administration has done a lot to reposition the payroll system for efficiency and effectiveness, adding that BVN is one of the mechanisms deployed to checkmate activities of ghost workers and pensioners.
Mr. Akan Okon who pointed out that each individual is entitled to only one BVN irrespective of number of accounts and banks, disclosed that government has detected cases where one BVN is tied to more than one persons, a situation he termed worrisome noting that it may imply multiple salary/pension collections.
The Finance Boss therefore re-emphasized the need for public servants to take ownership of the payroll system to ensure it is not porous to fraud and leakages, which could lead to system collapse.
While inaugurating the BVN verification team, Mr. Akan Okon said that government had deemed it fit to involve all relevant stakeholders in the verification committee to ensure that resolutions are made holistically, and charged the team to see the assignment as a clarion call to the service of the State.
The BVN Verification committee headed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mrs Eme-ete Imuk,FCA , was given a period of one month to complete the authentication exercise and also make recommendations to the State government.
Also in the team are Permanent Secretaries ,Office of the Head of Service and that of the Department of Establishment, Mrs Eno Offiong,Mni,and Mrs Stella Etukakpan respectively while the Assistant Director, Computer Centre of the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Sunday Udioko serves as secretary.
Other memberships were drawn from the Office of the Accountant-General, Office of the Auditor-General, Nigerian Labor Congress,and Nigerian Union of Pensioners.
Responding, the Chairman of the Committee and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mrs Eme-ete Imuk who spoke on behalf of other members , thanked the state government for finding them worthy to serve in that capacity and assured that they would work assiduously to achieve the goals and objectives of the committee.
On his part, the Chairman of NLC, Comrade Etim Ukpong commended the State government for the initiative which he described as a welcome development.
He pledged the support of NLC towards the sanitation of the payroll system which according to him would save funds for other compelling needs of the State as well as ascertain the actual number of Personnel in the workforce.
Meanwhile, salaries and pensions of the affected 1458 BVN persons may be put on hold pending the outcome of the verification exercise.
The State Ministry of Finance has therefore urged all the affected workers and pensioners to step forward to confirm their BVN to enable them continue to receive their salaries and pensions accordingly.