The Federal Government on Wednesday slashed the cost of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB and National Examination Council, NECO, registration and examination fees.
Applicants will now pay N3, 500 as JAMB examination fees against the previous N5, 000; N9, 850 for Senior Secondary Certificate examination SSCE, which is handled by NECO from the current N11, 350 being paid and N4,000 instead of N5, 500 for Basic Education Certificate which is also handled by NECO.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu announced the cut after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC), meeting presided over by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Following JAMB’s announcement that it remitted N7.8 billion to the federal government as proceeds from sales of Unified Tertiary Examinations (UTME) application forms in 2017, the House of Representatives resolution in May urged the Federal Ministry of Education to slash the cost of JAMB application forms, accusing the institution of gradually becoming a “revenue generating agency.”
Adamu, while briefing State House correspondents said that the reduction was approved by the FEC after presenting the memo council members on the reduction of fees for JAMB, SSCE and BECE, explaining that the reduction followed the pleas from parents.
He said, “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 by 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.”
On the ongoing strike by university teachers under the umbrella of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Adamu said that the Federal Government would resume negotiations with the lecturers tomorrow (Friday), stressing that he was optimistic that contentious issues would be resolved.
Meanwhile the council members also approved 11 ecological interventions projects valued at N9.6 billion.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, who also briefed journalists, announced the approval, saying that the projects are spread in Lagos – Jetty and Shoreline Protection Facilities, flood and erosion control in Oyo town, Oyo State, erosion control of flooded areas/road improvement in Owo, Ondo state, erosion control of flooded areas in Akampa in Cross River and road and stem water defiance in Federal College of Education in Yola, Adamawa.
Other projects are road and bridges at Dutse Saki village in Buguru local government in Bauchi, erosion control at Kazaure in Jigawa, intervention at Main Campus Phase II Site at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna, Erosion and flood control at Kontagunra local government are of Niger State, Gully erosion and road improvement at Army Post Service Estate, Kurudu Abuja and Erosion and flood control at Asharawa area council in Phase II in FCT, Abuja.
Adesina said Council also approved three industrial wastes combined incinerators for environmental friendly destruction of counterfeit and substandard regulated products. It was approved for NAFDEC at the sum of N267, 585,160.
He also said that FEC approved N267 million for three environmental friendly incinerator for NAFDAC which will help in the destruction of fake drugs by the agency.
The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau, on his part said FEC approved N14.7 billion for the new Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, travel certificates.
According to him, the project was based on the recommendation of West African regional leaders since 2016 as the ECOWAS travel papers can easily be faked.
He said that the certificate will carry security features like the picture and fingerprints of the holder which the current certificate which could be easily forged by anybody does not have.
The Interior Minister also said that the new project is for the security of the Nigerian borders and that the agreement for the contract would be signed at a later date.
He further said that it is a contractor financed project that will last for ten years and that 13 million cards will be produced within the period.
The contractor, he said is “the Army Corps of Engineers that have a limited liability company, Sappers Engineering Limited. Why we gave to Sappers Engineering is because of the security concerns, no civil contractor will want to go there insecure,” he explained.
“To make it easier for Nigeria, the project will incorporate her National Identity Number (NIN). It is hoped that the new cards will help safeguard Nigeria’s borders,” he said.
The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Suleiman Hassan said that N3.4 billion was approved for furnishing of three Federal Secretariat complex in Anambra, Zamfara and Bayelsa states and N331. 2 billion for rehabilitation of some bridges in the north east.
Hassan said council approved two memos. “The first one is the furnishing of the federal secretariat complexes in three states of the federation, Akwa in Anambra State, Gusau in Zamfara and Yenagoa in Bayelsa State at the cost of N3.48 billion.
“It is the duty of the federal ministry Power, Works and Housing to provide decent accommodation for federal agencies and other offices in various states of the federation to make their workings easier and more comfortable for better results.
“So these there complexes have been completed and ready for commission before the end of the year.”
The council also approved the rehabilitation of some broken down bridges in the north east region that were destroyed by insurgents at the cost of N813, 458,132.
“The first is on the road between Maiduguri, Dikwa and Gamboru. The second is at the famous Limankara, there is a bridge there that links Maiduguri to Dama, Goza, Hong and Yola at the cost of N331.2 billion.”
He also said that the bridge in Gombe State will cost of N304 million, adding that the total cost for rehabilitation of the bridges is N813, 458,132.
Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja