General

NECO appeals for budget review

The National Examinations Council, NECO, has appealed to the National Assembly to review the Council’s budget, so as to enable the examination body carry out its capital project.

Acting Registrar of NECO, Dr Abubakar Gana made the plea on Wednesday when the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Services paid an oversight visit to the Council.

He said apart from conducting examination, NECO finds it difficult to execute major projects due to low allocation to the agency.

According to Gana,” in 2018, it was budgeted that the council will purchase 18 Hilux pickups but only N7 million was released to it which couldn’t even buy one”.

The Acting Registrar of NECO also disclosed that the council will sanction schools charging above the government-approved fee of N9,850 as registration fee for the 2020 Senior School Certificate Examination, SSCE.

According to him, “the exam body has written Commissioners of Education of the 36 states and FCT, notifying them of extortions which the council said is against the directive of the Federal Government”

The NECO boss noted that the council was in control of the situation, adding that the exam body will continue to play active role in ensuring that candidates are not defrauded while pursuing their education.

He said the council would engage members of the committee to monitor its examination and report any infraction to guide the council on appropriate actions to be taken.

“Not quite a month, we wrote to all the commissioners of education, highlighting that some schools, both public and private, are overcharging candidates. While the NECO fee itself is N9,850, some are even charging N20,000 in the name of administrative charges.

“We are handling the situation. You too have a very critical role to play. We will make sure that in all our activities, we would make you part of the monitoring team so you can see what is happening and at your own convenience, write a report to us,” he said.

Responding, the Chairman House Committee on Basic Education and Services, Prof Julius Ihovbere, said the committee had a lot of confidence in NECO and its management.

Ihovbere said from the feedback from his constituency, NECO was doing exceptionally well.

“We believe that the role you have played, the only way to better appreciate it is to imagine a Nigeria without NECO,” he said.

According to him, the limitations faced by NECO were not from the inability of the Council to deliver but because of the challenges confronting the exam body.

He expressed confidence that both Senate and the House of Representatives will approve a review of NECO’s budget to enable it execute its mandate.

Source: Voice of Nigeria