Heritage Bank Plc, said it is set to commence account opening with Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) for 774,000 participants of the SPW programme in branches throughout the 774 Local Government Areas of the country.

The participants are to be paid an allowance of N20, 000 (Twenty thousand Naira) monthly for the programme which kicks off from November 1, 2020, at the 129 LGAs assigned to Heritage Bank Plc.

The SPW is a post-COVID-19 poverty alleviation initiative, approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Ministry of State for Labour and Employment to implement 774,000 jobs in all the 774 LGAs in Nigeria, for a period of three (3) months.

As part of modalities for the programme, the six participating banks, including Heritage Bank inclusive were mandated to open accounts for all the beneficiaries and capture their BVN. A special feature form has been provided by the Federal Government to capture participant’s Bio-data for this exercise.

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In a bid to align with the rudimentary arrangements, the Divisional Head, Corporate Communications, Fela Ibidapo, disclosed that Heritage bank has prepared seamless process flow for the commencement of the BVN enrolment/ account opening documentation of the assigned shortlisted beneficiaries.

He said, “For locations that the bank does not have physical 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 definitely adhere strictly to the beneficiary list forwarded to it by the Federal Government for account opening/BVN enrolment to avoid any infractions and work according to the rules set by the government and its agency, National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

Ibidapo recounted the bank’s success story 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).

About 1,000 participants were drawn each from the 774 local government areas in Nigeria for the Special Public Works Programme. In response to the nature of diversity and remoteness of some participants, the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Kenyamo allayed fears of missing out from the registration by the beneficiaries, and has recieved assurances from the banks that even in places where they have no physical presence or branch, registration centres would be provided; hence participants don’t need to travel far.