The Acting Registrar of National Examination Council (NECO), Mr Abubakar Gana, says the ongoing reforms embarked upon by the council are beginning to yield results.
Gana made the assertion while speaking with newsmen on NECO’s efforts over the past four months at fulfilling its mandate in Abuja on Thursday.
The acting registrar explained that dividends of the reforms were evident in the result of its recent examinations among other things.
He said that results of the NECO examinations of 2017, specifically Mathematics and English language had shown that 70.85 per cent of candidates obtained five credits and above.
He further said 71.48 per cent of the 2018 result indicated improvement over the 2017 results by 0.63 per cent in terms performance of candidates
On the 2018 NECO results, he said that 875,464 candidates, representing 84.77 per cent scored credits in English Language, while 850,331 candidates representing 82.34 per cent, scored credits in Mathematics.
He added that 742,455 candidates representing 71.48 per cent scored five credits and above, including English Language and Mathematics.
Gana attributed the early release of results to efforts made by NECO to satisfy the quest of candidates awaiting UTME results to gain admissions into the universities of their choice.
“NECO’s effectiveness in beating the deadlines is historic. Prior to this time, NECO results took between two to three months or even more before they were released.
“This was done to ease off pressure mounted on awaiting-result candidates participating in the Unified Tertiary Matriculations Examination (UTME), conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
“The council also realigned its procedures to ensure that results are released early to meet JAMB’s deadlines,” the registrar explained.
Gana also said for the first time since NECO was established in 1999 its examinations were well-coordinated in June/July 2018 and results released forty days after.
He said this similar schedule had also been adopted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC), which released its 2018 results after two months of conducting the West African School Certificate Examination, WASSCE.
He added that allegations against the council’s suspended chief executive officer and two deputy directors included financial mismanagement, abuse of office, illegal recruitment of personnel and other misdemeanours.
“NECO shares the burden of enthroning transparency and accountability to boost the integrity of its exercises, but the exam body has not escaped the gale of controversies in the management of its internal affairs.
“All issues between union and the management are now resolved as the management and staff of the Council have come to agree to work together on issues that divided them to attain the main objectives of the council.
“As part of the reforms, NECO commenced immediate implementation of the manpower development plan recommended by a Ministerial Committee under the Chairmanship of Muhammed Umar, a former Director of Human Resources, Federal Ministry of Education,” he said.
Gana said the reforms which were being implemented by way of internal postings and transfer of personnel based on their areas of specialisation had ensured efficiency in the council’s overall operations.
He added that the recent reforms being implemented had helped NECO to take its place as a reliable examination management body.
He explained that for the first time, since its establishment, it had been able to also end a decade-long industrial dispute between its management and unions and commenced reforms that would ensure specialisation for its staff.