THE Acting Registrar of the National Examinations Council, NECO, Mr Abubakar Gana, has said that the Council is now transparently managed and would soon not require allocation from the Federal Government to be able to fund its activities.
Gana, who said this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Basic Education for the defence of NECO’s 2019 budget, called for support from the Senate to achieve the feat.
He expressed commitment to deepen the gains recorded within his stint in office, saying that the agency under his supervision was poised to take its place as a transparent body.
He disclosed that the council also returned about N1 billion to the nation’s Consolidated Revenue Account as operational surplus from its internally generated revenue (IGR).
The NECO boss expressed his desire to firm up the reforms being carried out in NECO, adding that the 2019 budget of the agency as presented to the National Assembly will be judiciously implemented.
Recall that under Gana’s leadership, the Federal Government recently slashed NECO registration fees from N11,350 to N9850, thus paving the way for more participation of candidates in its Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE).
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu, who made the announcement, said implementation of the reduction commenced in January 2019, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari gave the directive to reduce the charges in answer to the yearnings of parents.
Meanwhile, the Senate has commended NECO for effectively deploying and utilizing resources allocated to it for the conduct of examinations across the country.
Chairman Senate Committee on Basic Education, Senator Aliyu Wamako, who gave the commendation, on behalf of his colleagues, extolled the leadership of the exam body for remaining steadfast in ensuring prudence in the agency.
Wamako disclosed that in the 2018 budget, the leadership of NECO returned about N90 million unused overhead allocations into the consolidated account.
While stating that NECO was borrowing a lift from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, by prudently managing its resources, the Senator expressed confidence in the agency to further apply its 2019 appropriation to reasonable use.
Recently, the anti-corruption stance of NECO was extolled by a coalition of Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, under the aegis of Concerned Civil Society Groups for Educational Development, for blocking what it described as seep holes through which its funds were looted.
On the early release of results, the Council has realigned its procedures to ensure that results are released early to meet JAMB’s deadlines in order to ease off pressure mounted on awaiting-result candidates participating in the Unified Tertiary Matriculations Examination, UTME.