Heritage Bank is to commence the account opening with Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) for the earmarked 774,000 participants of the Special Public Works Programme (SPW) in their branches, throughout the 774 local government areas.
The participants are to be paid an allowance of N20, 000 monthly and the programme is to kick off from November 1, 2020, and a total of 129 LGAs have been assigned to Heritage Bank.
The SPW is a post-COVID-19 poverty alleviation initiative, approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for the Federal Ministry of State for Labour and Employment to implement in three months.
As part of the modalities of the programme, the six participating banks, including Heritage Bank, have been mandated to open accounts for the beneficiaries and capture BVN.
Also, a special feature form has been provided by the Federal Government to capture participant’s bio-data for this exercise.
To align with the rudimentary arrangements, the Divisional Head, Corporate Communications, Fela Ibidapo said Heritage bank has prepared a process for the BVN enrolment/account opening of the shortlisted beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, he noted: “For locations that the bank does not have presence, the Agency Banking Team has engaged Super Agents to cover these areas and ensure smooth on boarding in such locations.”
He stated that Heritage Bank would adhere to the beneficiary list forwarded to the bank to avoid any infractions and work according to the rules set by the government and its agency, National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
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Ibidapo reiterated the bank’s success stories and legacies in similar exercises sustained through various entrepreneur schemes in the support for economic growth, which had always focused on dependable job-creating sectors, such as agricultural value chain (fish farming, poultry, snail farming), cottage industry, mining and solid minerals, creative industry (tourism, arts and crafts), and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
It would recall that 1,000 participants were drawn each council across the country for the SPW.
In response to the nature of diversity and remoteness of some participants, the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Kenyamo allayed the fears of missing out from the registration by the beneficiaries, stating that it has gotten assurance from the banks that even in places where they have no presence or branch, registration centres would be provided; hence participants don’t need to travel far.
The minister said: ‘‘The banks assured us that even in LGAs where they don’t have branches, temporary registration centers would be opened in such LGAs so that the participants would not have to travel far to open their accounts.”
Explaining the core areas of the SPW programme, Kenyamo said: “Special Public works department is one of the four core focus of the NDE. It seeks to identify and optimise employment opportunities that abound in the public works sector by organising the skilled, un-skilled and semi-skilled persons that are unemployed to carry out utility,environmental, infrastructural development and sanitation works.”