The Nasarawa state government has accused secondary schools authorities of taking advantage of the free education policy in the state to defraud the government by inflating the number of students registered for the 2015 National Examination Council examinations.
Some students on Monday had held a peaceful protest at the state Ministry of Education, alleging the removal of their names from the 2015 NECO list.
Bilal Abubakar of Lafia East Secondary School, who spoke on behalf of the students, urged the state government to re-consider its stand and include their names in the list.
However, the state Commissioner for Education, Hussaini Abubakar, speaking to journalists in Lafia, countered that most of those whose names were omitted in the 2015 NECO registration list were “pedestrian students” brought forward by some school authorities to defraud the state.
“We had the authentic list of all those that sat for junior WAEC mock in 2012, who are now qualified to seat for 2015 SSCE NECO and have all been registered,” Mr. Abubakar said. “Any other student not on that list is certainly not qualified or is a pedestrian student brought in through the back door.
“We had a case were a principal brought in the names of about 45 students from a school that was destroyed as a result of the communal crisis that engulfed some parts of the state. But to our surprise, when we compared the names with the list we had in the ministry, none of the names of the students he brought was part of that school.”
Mr. Abubakar also noted that the increase from over N200 million in fees paid in 2014 to over N500 million was not acceptable and aimed at defrauding the government.
He said the state government will deal decisively with those behind the scam after a verification exercise to be conducted by the ministry.
He challenged anybody, who wrote the 2012 mock examination and yet their name did not figure among the registered students, to come forward with their credentials for results.