The Federal Government has engaged six banks to commence account opening for beneficiaries of the Special Public Works Programme through-out the 774 local government areas (LGAs).
Among the banks that were appointed to engage in the exercise are Heritage Bank Plc, Zenith Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, and First City Monument Bank (FCMB).
The Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Kenyamo, announced the issuance of letters of engagement to the banks to commence account opening with Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), for the 774,000 participants of the programme in their branches, through-out the 774 LGAs.
Kenyamo disclosed this via his verified Twitter handle.
Recall that 1,000 participants were drawn from each of the 774 LGAs for the SPW Programme.
In response to the nature of diversity and remoteness of some participants, the minister said: “The banks assured us that even in LGAs where they don’t have branches, temporary registration centres would be opened in such LGAs so that the participants would not have to travel far to open their accounts.”
He also said the breakdown of banks taking care of each of the LGAs will soon be published.
Explaining the core areas of the SPW programme, Kenyamo said: “SPW department is one of the four core focus of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE). It seeks to identify and optimise employment opportunities that abound in the public works sector by organising the skilled, unskilled and semi-skilled persons that are unemployed to carry out utility, environmental, infrastructural development and sanitation work.”
Speaking on this development, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, said the Bank’s engagement is a sign of acknowledgement of its commitment to boosting financial inclusion and entrepreneurship development, critical to its mission to create, preserve, and transfer wealth across generations.
He reiterated the bank’s commitment to investing in human capital development, especially entrepreneurs for critical economic recovery. Expressing the bank’s feat in the area of innovativeness in empowering Nigerian entrepreneurs for economic growth, he said, “On the economic level, you know that entrepreneurship drives employment, it drives social change, so we are really doing it for both social and economic change.”
Meanwhile, he reiterated the bank’s commitment to lead the recovery of the Nigerian economy through championing several empowerment schemes like HB Lab, The Next Titan, Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YIEDP), Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) on Young Entrepreneurship Business Training Programme (YEBTP), Young Entrepreneurs and Students (YES) Grant, and Nigerian Youth Professional Forum (NYPF), among others.
He said the bank’s entrepreneur schemes in support of businesses focus 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).
He reiterated that Heritage Bank’s youth empowerment programmes aim to emancipate the latent entrepreneurial spirit in the teeming youths to unleash their support to the growth of the economy.