The National Examinations Council, NECO, says it will sanction schools that charge above the government approved fee of N9,850 as registration fee for the 2020 Senior School Certificate Examination SSCE.
Acting Registrar of NECO, Dr Abubakar Gana, disclosed that the examination body has written to Commissioners of Education of the 36 states, including the FCT, notifying them of the extortions going on in various schools against the directive of the Federal Government.
Gana stated this in Abuja when the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Services was on oversight visit to the Council, and raised observation that some schools were charging between N19,000 and N20,000 as registration fee for SSCE.
Displeased with the development, NECO boss assured that the council was on top of the situation and the exam body will continue to play active an role in ensuring that candidates are not defrauded while pursuing their education.
He further stated that the council would engage members of the committee to monitor its examination and report any infraction to guide the body 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.
“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,” he said.
Gana, further, appealed to the National Assembly for a review of NECO’s budget, lamenting that the exam body has not embarked on any capital project in the last three years.
According to him, NECO was finding it difficult to execute one project due to low allocation to the agency.
In his remarks, Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education and Services, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, said the committee had a lot of confidence in NECO and those managing the agency.
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 examination body.
He reassured that the National Assembly will approve a review of NECO’s budget to enable it execute its mandate.