Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The National Examinations Council (NECO) has vowed to sanction schools that are charging above the government-approved fee of N9,850 for the registration for the 2020 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE).
Acting Registrar of NECO, Dr. Abubakar Gana, wednesday said the examination body has written to commissioners of education of the 36 states and FCT, notifying them of the extortions going on in their schools against the directive of the federal government.
Gana stated this in Abuja when the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Services paid an oversight visit to the Council, and raised an observation that some schools were charging between N19,000 and N20,000 as registration fee for SSCE.
While frowning at the development, the NECO boss noted that the Council was on top of the situation, adding that the examination body will continue to play active role in ensuring that candidates are not defrauded while pursuing their education.
He said NECO would engage members of the committee to monitor its examination and report any infraction to guide the Council on appropriate actions to be taken.
“A month ago, we wrote to all the state commissioners of education highlighting that some schools, both public and private, are overcharging candidates. While the NECO fee is N9,850, some are even charging N20,000 in the name of administrative charges.
“Most of these schools are miracle centres where they perpetrate examination malpractice. Some lazy candidates who don’t have the confidence go to the extent of paying N50,000 to register so they can have their way to commit malpractice.
“We are on it. 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 that you can see what is happening, and at your own convenience, write a report to us,” he said.
Gana, who took the committee through the mandate of NECO, appealed to the National Assembly for the review of NECO’s budget, lamenting that the body has not embarked on any capital project for the past three years.
Responding, the Chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education and Services, Prof Julius Ihovbere, said the committee had a lot of confidence in NECO and those managing the agency.
Ihovbere said from the feedback from his constituency, NECO was doing exceptionally well.
“We believe that with the role you have played, the only way to better appreciate it is to imagine a Nigeria without NECO,” he said.