Fidelity bank card banner Camano banner
For NECO, the sun is shining, By Abdulrazaq Magaji

By News Express on 20/03/2017

Views: 1,392

 •NECO Registrar, Prof Charles Uwakwe.
•NECO Registrar, Prof Charles Uwakwe.

The National Examinations Council (NECO), has just announced that 60 per cent of candidates who sat for the November/December 2015 General Certificate Examination (GCE), had credit grade in, at least five subjects, including English and Mathematics. Announcing the results recently, NECO Registrar, Prof Charles Uwakwe, said the results brightened the chances of admission for the candidates. He vowed that NECO will continue to improve on the conduct of examinations and warned examination cheats to stay clear of NECO examinations.

Before NECO came on stream to break the monopoly of its main competitor, candidates would have had to wait for another year before getting the chance to write the GCE. For thousands of school leavers since NECO came on stream, the rain has stopped, the cloud has lifted and, thank God, people are beginning to see clearer. It would have been a disaster of no mean proportion if people who wanted NECO dead had their way few years back.

The brouhaha over streamlining federal agencies was that the nation could do with money to be saved from a trimmer, fitter and more functional federal service than the unwieldy contraption the nation is saddled with. Emphasis was on cost-saving and few Nigerians would deny the fact that the federal service could do with half its present size and function even more efficiently. Is there anything wrong with that? No, if you asked me, especially if the ultimate aim is efficiency.

As a matter of fact, not a few Nigerians believe the federal civil service is bloated and the huge recurrent expenditure in maintaining the service is stifling, to say the least. The prevailing situation where nearly seventy per cent of the federal budget goes to recurrent expenditure leaves no breathing space for proper development to take place. The situation is not helped by duplication of functions by some of the agencies, many of which were merely created to service pedestrian interests anyway.

But, the need to save cost does not justify scrapping NECO, either now or in the future, because the examination was a child of necessity that gave hope to many school leavers who, otherwise, would have been denied placement in tertiary institutions. In order to break the monopoly of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), government came up with the idea of NECO as means of opening a second window for school leavers. What this means is that the month-long interval between the two examinations provides a second chance for average students to get their act together.

The way it is, it is becoming clearer by the day that the ultimate aim of the attempt at streamlining federal agencies was anything but sincere. In fact, there were many Nigerians who argued then, and with justification too, that the exercise was targeted at NECO and, to some extent, JAMB. Other agencies listed to be streamlined were included to lend some element of credibility to the exercise.

Those who canvassed for NECO to be scrapped gave barely tenable reasons. One of them, curiously, was Prof Julius Okojie, former executive secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), who said NECO must go because its certificates were not recognised in West Africa.! It might also interest those who hold this queer view that many candidates are pursuing degree programmes in some of the best universities in the world with certificates issued by NECO.

Others even cited ‘high failure rate’ as reason for NECO to go. In this age where candidates access examination question papers online hours before they are written, credit must be given to NECO management for ensuring that question papers do not get into wrong hands or splashed on social media. Short of asking NECO to cook and award fictitious results, there is no justification for its being blamed for high failure rate. In their desperation, critics even argued as if separate set of examiners are engaged by examination bodies, and further created the wrong impression that NECO examines her candidates based on a supposedly inferior syllabus.

In its 17 years of existence, NECO has truly matured. Today, the council conducts examinations that are universally hailed and acknowledged as credible. NECO has succeeded in doing this by working assiduously to be a step or two ahead of examination cheats. Frankly, the so-called miracle centres are still in business because it is relatively easier for them to compromise examinations conducted by examination bodies other than NECO. Based on current trends, it can be said with some conviction that the so-called miracle centres and all manner of examination cheats would have completely been knocked out of business if NECO had the monopoly of conducting public examinations.

For the avoidance of doubt, examination bodies around the world are not established to deploy teachers to teach in schools; and their staff is not directly involved in marking examination scripts. What examination bodies do is to engage classroom teachers as chief or assistant examiners to mark examination scripts on account of their being directly involved in the teaching process. Beyond this, one of the major functions of staff of examination bodies is to serve as custodians and monitors for proper conduct of examinations. NECO is not an exception to these rules.

It is noteworthy that NECO succeeded in reducing cases of leakage of question papers, after the services of ad hoc staff were dispensed with, as custodians. The bona fide staff who now play that role are aware of and conform with the organisation’s zero-tolerance for corruption. Of course, a committed NECO workforce must share in the credit for effective conduct of examinations and the success in safeguarding question papers from being compromised. It is the sustained support of this committed workforce that NECO Registrar, Prof Uwakwe, will need in his onerous task of transforming NECO into a world-class examination body.

It must have been in pursuit of this desire that the Registrar pledged to promote the welfare of NECO staff and shield them from corrupting influences. It is a pledge that should be well taken.

Magaji is based in Abuja and can be reached at


Source News Express

Posted 20/03/2017 12:33:17 AM





You may also like...
Five ways naira flotation will affect Nigeria

Man pushes woman into boiling soup, lands in...

Nyame’s ill-health stalls N1.64bn fraud trial

Osinbajo's helicopter makes emergency landing

3 pregnant women, 17 others die over free...

Election tribunal in Enugu gives parties 14 days...

World Bank cuts forecast for world economic growth...


Kanu: Court strikes out case against Abaribe, Fani...

Buhari to grace inauguration of Chadian President

FG to reform police for better efficiency: Osinbajo...

Nasarawa workers suspend two months strike


Latest News Buhari under pressure to appoint Ogbonnaya Onu SGF •Details of the caucus meeting inside Aso Rock where he was nominated 2 bank drivers nabbed for conspiracy to kidnap bank manager Three teenagers drown in Akwa Ibom beach In the lion’s den: My June 12 story, By Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, Esq Fulani herdsmen kill seven along Plateau-Kaduna border Ihedioha gives Okorocha one month ultimatum to return government property HURIWA raises alarm over possible xenophobic violence in Ghana •Asks Buhari, ECOWAS to intervene 7,000 Poly students stopped from writing exams Buhari signs Polytechnic Amendment Bill, one other into law Customs intercepts 1,682 wraps of cannabis concealed inside corpse Delta: Okowa renominates Ukah, others as commissioners Senate President appoints Chief of Staff, Special Adviser on Media


Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (494,760 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (425,647 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (365,508 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (312,125 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (276,401 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (244,088 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (234,102 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (215,979 views) 10 cars more expensive than Jets (213,040 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (204,561 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (184,620 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (183,936 views)


NNPC Financial reports February 2019

CBN banner advert

UBA Wise Savers Promo


Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (94) Business & Economy (4,312) Business Verdict (73) Columnists (1,051) Complaints & Requests (95) Enterprise & Opportunities (209) Entertainment (624) Features (762) Global Business Monitor (379) ICT Monitor (53) International (3,601) Interview (184) Live Commentary (30) Love Matters (162) Maggie's Blog (305) News (47,483) Opinion (1,260) Pidgin (17) Politics (11,034) Religion (1,024) Sports (2,045) Stock Watch (39) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update






APO Group Partner




GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member



Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera