Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, on Wednesday, stated the readiness of his government not to pay November and December salaries to civil servants in the state who do not have the Bank Verification Number, BVN.
Umahi made this known while addressing the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, delegation, who paid him a courtesy visit at the Exco Chambers, Government House, Abakaliki.
The governor, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the state account status, which rates Ebonyi as the lowest in Financial Inclusion and Access in the South East.
According to him: “Anybody that doesn’t have BVN should not expect salary, no BVN no salary whether it is political or not. The Deputy Governor has BVN and I have BVN. So, any political appointee that doesn’t have BVN, no salary. Any Civil Servant that doesn’t have BVN or have incomplete BVN or intentionally gave out wrong BVN, I have noted that and such a person will not take salary until they have BVN.
“Commissioner for Local Government, you have to implement that immediately. No salary for the months of November, December until everybody has got a BVN, this is very important. So, some of you that have not opened account for the first time in your life, you now open account. They said Ebonyi is the least in bank account opening, it shouldn’t be”, he said.
Earlier in his remark, the Branch Controller of CBN, Adayi Chris Onah, stated that the Financial Access Performance across Geo-political zones of the country showed that South East has average exclusion rate of 29.3%.
He noted that Ebonyi state has 43.6% exclusion rate, which is above the national average of 36.8% and the region average of 29.3%.
He further revealed that other states in the zone were recording an average of between 25.4%-28.7%.
He noted that the low inclusion rate was why the bank chose the state as pilot state for it’s account opening week program in the South East.
He said the program would commence from December 2-7, 2019.
Onah said the state government has accessed over N12bn through various interventions of the bank while some other individuals and companies in the state also accessed over N4bn.