By G9ija

Acting Registrar of the National Examination Council (NECO), Dr Abubakar Gana, has petitioned Commissioners of Education in the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory to notify them of the extortions of students for the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) by schools in their domain.

The registrar said some schools were charging above the Federal Government-approved fee of N9, 850 as registration fee for the 2020 SSCE.

Gana, who noted that this was against the directive of the government, vowed to sanction any school found guilty.

He stated these when he received members of the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Services at the Abuja office of the council.

The committee members, led by their Chairman, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, were on an oversight visit to the examination body.

The registrar said: “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.

“Most of these schools are miracle centres and what they do there is that they perpetrate malpractice. Candidates who are lazy and don’t have confidence can go to the extent of paying N50, 000 to register so they can have their way.

“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 you can see what is happening and at your own convenience, write a report to us.”

Gana said the council would engage members of the committee to monitor its examination and urged them to report any infractions that would guide the council on appropriate actions to be taken.

He appealed to the members of the National Assembly for a review of NECO’s budget, lamenting that the examination body had not embarked on any capital project for the past three years.

Chairman of the committee, Ihonvbere said both the Senate and the House of Representatives will approve a review of NECO’s budget to enable it execute its mandate.

He noted that the committee had a lot of confidence in NECO and those managing the agency.

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

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