By Akon Etumukwa
The Federal Government has slashed registration fees for the National Examination Council, NECO-administered Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) and the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The reduction, which was carried out yesterday by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in Abuja, brought the cost of SSCE registration from N11,350 to N9850 and that of UTME from N5,000 to N3,500.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamau, who made the announcement after the FEC meeting, said the reduction would be implemented in January 2019.
Adamu said President Muhammadu Buhari gave the directive to reduce the charges in answer to the yearnings of parents.
“Since the new administration came into office and a change in management and prudent management by JAMB, we have been able to see that most of what have been charged doesn’t have to be because a lot of it have been siphoned by corrupt officials.
“So, in answer to yearnings my parents, Mr. President directed that we should look into the possibility of reducing the charges.
“So accordingly, from January 2019, JAMB fees will be from N5,000 to N3,500 for the UTME, Senior Secondary Certificate charged by National Examination Council (NECO) from 11,350 to N9,850 and Basic Education Certificate handled by NECO is reduced from N5,500 to N4,000.
According to the minister, the concern of government was not to make money as the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and NECO are not revenue generating agencies, adding that since the government found that JAMB returned about N8 billion into its coffers, government decided to relieve the burdens on parents.
Before now, the House of Representatives had described JAMB as becoming a revenue agency, and called on the Education Ministry to slash the cost of application forms significantly as the development was robbing students of access to education