By Peter Moses, Mumini Abdulkareem and Temim Halimat
Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Kwara State Government will tomorrow (Tuesday) begin physical screening, being phase II of the ongoing submission of Bank Verification Number (BVN) for the workers’ verification exercise in the state, National Pilot learnt on Sunday.
First level of the exercise had exposed massive fraud being perpetrated in the state civil service with 324 individuals linked to 659 multiple accounts.
Also, of the 82,642 workers so far verified by the Committee on Personnel Database Development, only 49,579 have valid BVN, while 124 were discovered to have fake BVN.
The Senior Special Assistant (Media and Communications) to the Governor, Dr Muyideen Akorede told National Pilot yesterday the physical verification would commence across the state on Tuesday.
The exercise had prompted the government’s “no BVN, no salary” directive, a system seemed to have been borrowed by Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal following workers’ verification and update of records in the state.
Those found culpable in the exercise would be brought to book, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed had vowed in exclusive interview with National Pilot.
Insisting on the BVN directive, the governor’s aide said the level of compliance has been high.
Akorede said in a telephone interview: “On Tuesday, we will start the physical verification of the exercise across the state and that is the next level. The report of the Committee has already been submitted and we will continue with the process next week.
“We are restating the issue that anybody without BVN will not be paid salary until they do so. The level of compliance has been very high. The main issue we had has to do with that of the microfinance accounts because they work on the platform of other commercial banks. Although I cannot tell you the exact figure now but the level of compliance has been very high. Nobody can say he has not heard and even those that may not be in the state. The form has been uploaded online and many social media platforms.”
Similarly, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, who is also the Alternate Chairman of the Committee on Personnel Database Development, has explained that the database developed by the committee would to address the challenges of corrupt practices in the system.
In a statement made available to National Pilot in Ilorin, Gold all workers in the State, local government and pensions were directed to collect their verification and biometric form from their staff officers and departmental heads before March, 29, 2016, apparently in preparedness for the physical verification exercise.
The SSG advised the affected workers to complete and keep their forms for physical and biometric verification exercise.
Meanwhile, Ahmed has given an assurance that the verification of workers in the state through the presentation of BVN and the proposed Biometric exercise will end delay in the payment of salaries in the State.
The Governor gave this assurances at a meeting with the All Progressives Congress (APC) Stakeholders in Ilorin, the state capital, adding that through the presentation of the BVN, salaries of local governments workers and State Universal Basic Education teachers, which had been a major problem would become a thing of the past.
According to the governor, the approval by the Debt Management Office of the N20 billion Bond to be secured by the State, the tempo of the development of infrastructure in the state would be faster.
Some of the projects tied to the bond, the governor said, include the expansion of some major roads in the State capital, construction of two new campuses of Kwara State University in Ilesha-Baruba and Osi in Baruten and Ekiti local government areas respectively.
On local government elections, Dr Ahmed, charged APC local and ward chairmen and stakeholders in the state to be fully prepared in their respective council areas through inclusive approach in the emergence of candidates for elections in all the 16 local government areas of the state.
He advised that the principle of zoning formula, loyalty, credibility must put into consideration before councillorship and chairmanship candidates could emerge.