MONROVIA, Feb. 4 (LINA) – The Director General of the National Bureau of Veterans Affairs (NBVA), Edward Goodridge is projecting that based on insight and foresight from the biometric enrollment and direct deposit exercises significant gains in the tone of almost a million United States dollars will be 0saved annually by Government for other programs to benefit veterans of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).
In compliance with the policy of government that every Liberian takes National Identification Caed, the NBVA in collaboration with the National Identification Registry (NIR), the Ministry of Defense (MOD) and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) conducted a nationwide exercise for the biometric enrollment of all ALF veterans across the 15 Counties.
Speaking Thursday at the Ministry of Information regular press conference, Goodridge disclosed that of the 5,112 names of pensioners that are on the AFL pension payroll, the NBVA and the NIR have so far been able to complete the vetting of about 1,526 pensioners for direct deposit with the bank of their choice, noting that the exercise will resume on February 8 this year.
While acknowledging that there are some contentions surrounding the exercise, Goodridge noted that the leadership of the NBVA is committed towards seeing it through in the interest of all parties.
He said that by implementing the direct deposit policy for AFL pensioners at this time will resolve most of the inconveniences affecting all parties.
Goodridge further disclosed that the Bureau has formulated several plans and programs for the economic empowerment of veterans and is pursuing partnership with national and international organizations and the Government of Liberia for implementation.
The programs when implemented, said Goodridge, hold great potential for sustaining the peace and security of the nation.
He named some of the programs as capacity building, the placement of demobilized soldiers on pension payroll, agriculture projects, expansion of the Woman and Children’s Department, engineering projects ( in partnership with the GOL) and industrial security guild service. »
Goodridge urged all veterans of the AFL to be patient and peaceful during the exercise as the leadership of the NBVA is committed “to not leaving any bona fide veteran out of these processes, adding that at the same time they are bent in not letting any unscrupulous individuals or imposters infiltrate their noble ranks and file.”
According to him, the Bureau is basically challenged with inadequate work space, lack of office and mobile equipment, adding that the Bureau has formulated several plans and programs for the economic empowerment of veterans.