Former National Examination Council (NECO) Chairman Prof. Abubakar Mohammed has accused government agents of deliberately working to frustrate and weaken the local examination authority, News About Nigeria reports.
Speaking to guests at NECO’s first award ceremony in Minna, Niger State, on Saturday, Mohammed claimed that N6 billion in exam fees had been embezzled by government officials, mostly in the Ministry of Education, and that the money still remains unaccounted for.
Mohammed stated, “The government, and especially some officials in the Ministry of Education, are out to sabotage the indigenous examination body.
“I do not owe anyone any apology for my statement, some government officials don’t want NECO to exist. The officials first withdrew the N6 billion found in the accounts of NECO.
“To date, the money has not been returned, and nobody even bothered to inform us what they did with the money.”
Mohammed further disclosed that NECO has not received any subsidy from the Federal Government to cover its operating costs.
He pointed out that NECO and WAEC had an agreement on the rotation of examination conduct, and he expressed his displeasure with government officials who seemed to favour WAEC, which caused NECO to conduct its examinations solely in May and June.
Speaking to the assembly, NECO Registrar Prof. Danlami Wushishi announced the creation of scholarships for applicants who do exceptionally well on the gifted children exam.
Commending the dedication of NECO staff, he said, “My staff has not failed me; they work to meet our mandate and the timeline we have set for ourselves. The overall goal of all the staff is to enhance the quality of the service being rendered by the organisation.”