FEC Reduced Registration Fee – From N5k to N3K5 & N11K To N8K
For a better Nigeria – FEC has approved the reduction of Registration Fee
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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved the reduction of examination fees charged by some government agencies in the country.
Arising from the exercise, the fee for the Joint Matriculation and Admissions Board (JAMB) examination form was reduced from N5,000 to N3,500; the National Examination Council (NECO) Senior Secondary Certificate Examination fee was reduced from N11,350 to N9,850 and the Basic Education Certificate fee from N5,500 to N4,000. The new fees regime will take effect from January next year.
The action of the FEC may not have been unconnected with the strident calls over the years for a reduction in registration fee charged by the examination agencies in the country. We recall that the House of Representatives had earlier called on the Ministry of Education in May this year to prevail on JAMB to reduce the fee charged for its examination.
In the case of JAMB which qualifies candidates for entry into tertiary institutions in the country, the agitations for a reduction in in registration fee, have been most persistent. The cause of the agitators was apparently helped by the disclosure of serial financial malfeasance by its staff and the billions of naira remitted to the Federation Accounts by Professor Ishaq Oloyede, since his assumption of office as the Registrar of the examination body.
Access to education by all is a basic guarantee of our constitution and all other related international conventions which Nigeria has signed. Nothing should be done to deny any Nigerian citizen access to education. The exorbitant registration fee charged by these examination bodies are barriers to accessing education in the country. It is good that government has listened to the concerns of some stakeholders in the sector and slashed the fees. The fees charged for the basic and entry examinations in the country must be affordable. In fact, such fees must reflect the challenging economic times.
The ideal would have been for government to make these examinations and indeed education free and compulsory at all levels. But when this becomes practically impossible, only minimum fees should be charged. That this has not been the practice is simply because the government has failed to act. It has also contributed to the nation’s underdevelopment.
Education and access to it must be prioritised by government at all levels in the country. Where education is effective and functional, the country experiences rapid socio-economic development with quantum leaps in GDP and human development index. It would take a visionary and selfless leadership to see the benefits of education and invest in it.
It is for this reason that we urge the Federal Government to consider a further reduction in the new fees that it has announced. It should also slash the fees charged for examinations conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC). The Federal Government should show more commitment to affordable education and the development of the country.
It is regrettable that successive governments in the country have not fully appreciated the role of education in the development of any nation. The persistent disruptions in the education sector as occasioned by frequent industrial actions and poor remuneration of workers only buttress this point. The members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are currently on strike over poor funding of universities and other welfare matters. In the same vein, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has also declared an indefinite strike over funding and other issues.
The government’s seeming lackadaisical attitude to matters concerning education must change, if the country is to realise its great potentials. However, we commend the government for slashing the fees of these public examinations and call for more commitment to education by all tiers of government.