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FG Has Not Scrapped UTME, NECO - Minister

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ABUJA, April 19, (THEWILL) – The Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, has again restated that the Federal Government has not scrapped the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Wike, while briefing the Senate Committee of Education on Thursday, blamed “mischief makers bent on heating the polity" on the misinformation on the planned scrapping of agencies of government.

He insisted that the government had not taken a decision on the two bodies.

Instead, according to him, the Federal Government has set up a committee to review the agencies pencilled down for scrapping.

It will be recalled that the Federal Government had reportedly approved the scrapping of some of its agencies in compliance to the recommendations of the Steve Orosanye-led presidential committee on the rationalisation and restructuring of federal parastatals.

Agencies pencilled down to be scrapped include the UTME, NECO, Public Complaint Commission (PCC) and National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), among others.

The minister made the clarification at the National Assembly when the Uche Chukwumerije-led Senate Committee on Education met with the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) Registrar, Dibu Ojerinde, and NECO’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Promise Okpala.

According to the Minister, any decision taken by government will be in the best interest of Nigerians.

"The government said there are many agencies with overlapping functions and they is a need to reduce the agencies to save cost. So the Federal Government set up a committee to look into Oronsaye’s report.

"Even if the government wants to scrap the two bodies, reasons will be given but as at now, no decision has been taken,’’ Wike said.

However, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, said while the Senate supports moves by the Federal Government to rationalise agencies with duplicating functions, caution must be applied in doing so.