FG reassures on UTME, NECO

By Gbenga Ariyibi & Johnbosco Agbakwuru

LAGOS — INDICATIONS emerged, yesterday, that the Federal Government may have soft-pedaled on the scrapping of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, examination, UTME; and the National Examinations Council, NECO, as recommended by the Mr. Steve Oransoye-led committee, which had generated mixed reactions.

This came as apprehension gripped over 2,000 workers of JAMB, who may lose their jobs if the recommendations by the committee on the restructuring of the Federal Government agencies and parastatals are implemented.

In Ado Ekiti, yesterday, Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to President Goodluck Jonathan on Youth and Student Matters, Jude Imagwe, said Federal Government was not considering scrapping UTME and NECO.

The SSA, who spoke at Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, during a workshop on teaching/learning method, said the bodies were set up by laws for specific purposes.

Imagwe noted that the recommendations of the Oronsanye committee may not be unconnected with the fact that a lot of government agencies were performing similar roles and functions, saying “at the end of the day, we will keep our own. NECO will be strengthened.”

Meanwhile, organised labour in JAMB, Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, and Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, have vowed to challenge the report in court should the Federal Government implement it.

In an address by Mr. Samuel Azaba and Mr. Isaiah Adeigbe, branch Chairmen of NASU and ASCSN, respectively, and Mr. Stephen Ignatius, NASU Secretary and his counterpart from ASCSN, Mr. Adederin Adegoke, the unions said instead of scrapping the institutions, government should establish more to accommodate the about 1.7 million students seeking admission in about 400 institutions in the country.

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