FG scraps UTME, NECO, NAPEP, others.

Indications emerged last night that the Federal
Government may have resolved to scrap some of its
agencies in line with the recommendations of the
Steve Oronsaye-led Presidential Committee on the
Rationalization and Restructuring of Federal
Government Parastatals, Commissions and
Agencies following the completion of study of its
White Paper Committee report. Among those
scrapped are Unified Tertiary Matriculation
Examination (UMTE), National Examination Council
(NECO), Public Complaints Commission, National
Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) and the
Fiscal Mobilization and Allocation Commission
among others.

The Oronsaye committee had recommended the
abolition of 38 agencies, the merger of 52 and the
reversion of 14 to departments in the ministries from
which they were carved out, a move the committee
argued would save the government more than N862
billion between 2012 and 2015 should its proposal
be adopted. A reliable government source confirmed
that President Goodluck Jonathan, Vice President
Namadi Sambo and selected senior aides of the
president met twice and eventually took decisions,
which included the scrapping of some agencies and
merging of others.

Another source revealed that the with the scrapping
of the UTME, individual universities in the country
would conduct their own admission examinations
and admit students while the Joint Matriculation and
Examination Board will set and ensure compliance to
standards as it acts as the clearing house. The
source said JAMB would be modeled along the line
of Universities and Colleges Admission Service
(UCAS), the central organization through which
applications are processed for entry to higher
education in the United Kingdom.

According to the source, “individual university will do
their own examination and admission. If you want to
apply to a university, you do so but in order not to
have a situation where one person gets multiple
admission, JAMB acts as a clearing house to free up
spaces. All the universities are free now to admit
students.” Even though details were still being
worked out, it was learnt that government’s decision,
was informed by the need to promote merit in
admission into the nation’s universities because “the
idea is to ensure that the best students go to the best
universities.”
The source further disclosed that the president had
also approved that the West African Examination
Council (WAEC) is now expected to take over the
functions and vast infrastructure of NECO, which
now ceases to exist. The sources confirmed that
WAEC would now conduct two external
examinations in a year, January and November. The
Public Complaints Commission is to be merged with
the Human Rights Commission, just as NAPEP
would also be scrapped and replaced National
Agency for Job Creation and Empowerment.
The Oronsaye-led Presidential Committee on the
Rationalisation made far-reaching recommendations,
which, it explained, were aimed at helping the
government to effect a drastic reduction in the size of
its bloated bureaucracy, eliminating duplication of
functions and bringing down the cost of governance.
The committee submitted its report to the president in
April last year.

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