The federal government has approved a reduction in the cost of forms for final year secondary school and post-secondary school examinations.
This reduction, first announced by President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide on new media, Bashir Ahmad, was decided at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presided over the meeting in the absence of Mr Buhari who travelled on official assignment to Borno State.
The cost of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) forms was reduced from N5,000 to N3,500 while the cost of National Examination Council (NECO) forms was reduced from N11,350 to N9,850.
The cost of Basic Education Certificate, also handled by NECO, was also reduced from N5,500 to N4,000.
The reduction takes effect from January 2019.
JAMB has been making hundreds of millions of naira profit since its new leadership headed by Ishaq Oloyede assumed office; leading many Nigerians to demand a reduction in the cost of forms.
The House of Representatives had in May urged the Federal Ministry of Education to slash the cost of JAMB application forms.
The call had followed JAMB’s announcement that it remitted N7.8 billion to the federal government as proceeds from sale of Unified Tertiary Examinations (UTME) application forms in 2017.
The lawmakers had accused JAMB of becoming a “revenue generating agency.”
On Wednesday, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who briefed journalists at the end of the three hours FEC meeting, said he presented a memo to call for the reduction in fees. He said the reduction followed the pleas from parents.
According to him, since the Buhari administration put in place a prudent management in JAMB, corruption in the agency gas been eradicated.
“So, in answer to yearnings my parents, Mr. President directed that we should look into the possibility of reducing the charges,” he said.
“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,” he said.
The council also approved 11 ecological interventions projects worth N9.6 billion in Lagos, Oyo, Ondo, Cross River, Adamawa, Bauchi, Jigawa, ABU Zaria, Kaduna and Abuja
It also approved N4.7 billion for ECOWAS biometric cards to replace the current ECOWAS travel certificate.