From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Federal Government has added the National Examination Council (NECO) on the list of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), that remits 25 percent of generated revenue to government coffers.
NECO Registrar, Prof. Dantani Ibrahim Wushishi, who made this known in Minna, during a press briefing to mark one year in office, lamented that the decision has taken a toll on the examination body’s activities.
He said: “From 2021 to date, to June (this year), the Federal Ministry of Finance has deducted from NECO’s Treasury Single Account, the total of N6,023,145,000.23. Ideally, 50 per cent of the money was supposed to be operating surplus, while the rest are used to settle debts.”
Asked on the issue of debts owed to the Council by some State government, Prof. Wushishi revealed that NECO has recovered parts of the money, but lamented that over N2 billion still remain unpaid.
His words: “We have done a lot on debt recovery. But some states are still indebted to the Council to the tune of over N2 billion. This is for over so many years, from 2012 till date. We are making efforts and some states are responding.
“We have a commitment with the Accountant General of the Federation, and the States that we have MoU with. We can take the MoU to the Accountant General office to deduct from source, but we are very tactical about it, because we also have to sensitize the states government on the need to keep NECO afloat, and it is the funds from subscription and other incomes that will keep NECO afloat.
“So we are tactically doing that and we are getting the desired result. We have not yet taken any state to the Accountant General office.”
Nevertheless, he said that NECO was able to made great success in all its activities in the last one year that he had piloted the affairs of the examination body.
Prof. Wushishi disclosed that they have successfully deployed cutting-edge software to ensure efficient grading of students/candidates in its various examinations, adding that the software would also ensure precise grade value for every subject.
He said: “one of the innovations that would bring to bear in the conduct of the examination is determining the way and manner we determine the grade number, which relates to the allocation of grades for various subjects to students.
“Formerly, it was done manually and there are processes that are followed in doing that manually. But I felt it’s necessary to align ourselves and some of our operations with the in-thing, which is technology, and we felt there was need for us to have a software that will enable us determine precisely real values for subjects after our exams. So we had a workshop for that and we were able to deploy standard software to determine grade and marking.”
He appreciated the support of President Buhari, Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu and the governing board of NECO, stressing that the examination body relies heavily on money generated from candidates’ registrations for its various capital projects and other activities that relate to conduct of examination.