The Federal Ministry of Finance on Tuesday, announced the successful conclusion of a pilot programme which uses Bank Verification Number (BVN) details to check cases of ghost workers in the country.
In a statement issued by the Director (Press) in the Finance Ministry, Mr. Marshall Gundu, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said that the BVN will further identify duplicity and other irregular entries on the payroll system.
The statement said that the strategy of using BVN rather than requiring the physical presence of each member of staff has significantly simplified and accelerated the progress of the project and at a lower cost than previously incurred.
The statement read, “We believe that the use of BVN, rather than requiring physical presentation as a first line check on the integrity of our payroll, is a cost-effective and efficient measure.
“This will accelerate the pace of enrollment on IPPIS as well as identify anomalies which can be flagged for further investigation and review.
“To date, despite over five years since initiation of the project, just 20 per cent of public employees have actually been enrolled onto IPPIS due to a variety of reasons.
“As part of our public financial management reforms, we are committed to scrutinising our largest single expense item. Personnel related costs account for over 40 per cent of government expenditure and must be prudently managed to ensure the validity of every payment. We are therefore determined that everyone who collects a salary from the federal purse is on the IPPIS system,”
Adeosun, who thanked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Plc (NIBBS) for their co-operation in the exercise, noted that under BVN more than 30 million biometric and personal data records had been captured.
According to her, “the BVN provides a pool of reliable data against which records held on the federal government’s payroll will be cross checked to identify inconsistencies including duplicate payments, payments to dormant accounts, multiple payments to a single account holder, non-matching of data provided among others.
“Since the advent of BVN, we have seen a trend of such requests for transfer from commercial bank accounts to non BVN accounts. Accordingly, we plan to undertake a detailed review of all persons who have requested such transfers in the last 12 months,” she added.