The federal government has commenced the partial payment to beneficiaries of its special public works (SPW) programme.
Festus Keyamo, minister of state, labour and employment, announced this via his Twitter page on Saturday.
The SPW is a federal government initiative that kicked off in July 2020 to engage 774,000 unemployed youth in a short-term employment programme across Nigeria.
The programme was approved by Muhammadu Buhari as part of the fiscal stimulus measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March 2021, Keyamo said that Buhari had ordered the release of funds for payment of the 774,000 beneficiaries of the SPW programme.
“After the release of some of the funds by the Ministry of Finance for the payment of SPW stipends, I directed a rigorous scrutiny of the accounts of the participants before payments,” the tweet read.
“We discovered instances of accounts not matching BVNs, multiple accounts bearing a single BVN, non-existent BVNs, etc.”
The minister said in a bid to eliminate fraud, he directed the National Directorates of Employment (NDE) to write to commercial banks to investigate the issue before commencing payments.
“So far, only ACCESS Bank has responded with accounts verified for payments and the NDE has today commenced payments of those accounts with ACCESS Bank.
“We await the responses of ZENITH, UBA, FCMB, FIDELITY, HERITAGE & Yobe Micro-Finance Banks to clean up the anomalies.
“Our determination to ensure those selected for this 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.”