From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has advocated automation of pension funds through the electronic banking system as this would ease the difficulties retirees encounter in accessing their entitlements.
He made the call while exchanging news with the executive members of the committee of Electronic Banking Industry heads of Nigeria (CEBIH) who paid a courtesy call on him at Government House, Uyo.
He said had open discussions with the Nigerian Pension Commission (NPC) to evolve a pension scheme that would be embraced by the workforce and explained that the electronic banking system creates easy access for workers to access their contributions as well as engage in other future plans.
“I have discussed with the Nigerian Pension Commission (NPC) and they said we should first of all embrace the contributory pension scheme.
“I discovered that some public servants wait for retirement before thinking of building a house. This put so much pressure on them, but with the contributory pension scheme, people can plan their finances a head of time”.
Emmanuel explained that the e-banking system will facilitate payment of salaries and the use of credit cards as a means of transactions and that the system provide for convenience in transaction as well as reduces the incidence of theft.
He decried the current practice of using cash instead of the automated card system for every transaction and called on the committee to sensitize the people on the benefits of the innovation, stating that it has been used in conventional transactions.
The governor used the occasion to draw the attention of the committee to pockets of complaints on the application of bank verification numbers (BVN), stating that some people particularly civil servants in the last couple of weeks, have been unable to withdraw from their accounts and called on financial institutions to also incorporate manual means of verifying peoples accounts through the use of incidence form.
He then called on financial institutions to partner the state government in combating crime, stating that one way of achieving this is by donating vehicles to boost surveillance.
Emmanuel therefore commended the committee for the choice of the state in their annual retreat.
Chairman, e-banking committee, Mr. Ayotunde Kuponiyi, said the committee, which came on board in 2008 has the objective of fostering the growth of electronic banking system in the country.
He said the committee played advocacy role alongside the Central Bank on the current cashless policy transaction and particularly commended the governor for the development strides witnessed in the state.
Mr. Kuponiyi pointed out that the vision of industrialization which forms the bedrock of the administration’s blueprint informed the choice of Akwa Ibom state for the banking retreat.
Kuponiyi expressed appreciation to the governor for hosting them and promised to partner the administration in its employment strides.
From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo