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Registration For 2024 Unity College Exam Drops As NECO Registrar Blames Economic Hardship For Low Enrollment



Hardship: NECO Witness Slight Decline As 70,608 Students Sit For Common Entrance

70,608 candidates are currently sitting for this year’s National Common Entrance Examination ((NCEE) conducted by the National Examinations Council (NECO), to enable them gain admission into the 115 Federal Government Colleges commonly referred to as unity colleges.

This year’s figure is slightly below the number of over 72,000 candidates who sat for the 2023 NCEE.

This is a poor development attributed to the hardship being witnessed in the country.

Speaking during monitoring of the examination in Abuja on Saturday, permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, commended NECO for the smooth examinations so far.

She said: “We’ve been monitoring the ongoing NECO examination in FCT Abuja. We actually have 55 centers here but we’ve so far monitored about three centers. Generally I would say that everything is going on smoothly.

“The candidates are sitting for the exams comfortably, there is cooling in the room and there has been no problems so far.

“We are happy with all that NECO has put in place to ensure a smooth and seamless exercise.”

Registrar of NECO, Prof. Ibrahim Wushishi who attributed the slight decline to the economy which has thrown millions of Nigerians into poverty, noted that unlike examinations conducted for the higher classes sponsored by some politicians and states, parents usually foot the bills for registration of their children or Wards at the NCEE level.

He however noted an increase in the number of female candidates compared to last year’s registration.

“We have 33,335 male who registered and 37,000 plus female, we have the total of 70,608 that are so far registered which is below last year.

“Last year was it was about 72,000 plus. So you find that generally for the male and female, last year’s registration was higher than this year’s registration .

“This could be attributed to so many factors, economic factors is most prevalent factor that maybe will hinder large registration.

“We all know what is happening in the economy and it is affecting everybody. The bulk of the population is in the rural areas and in some states, they don’t sponsor candidate at this level. It’s the parents that sponsors the candidate.

“Sometimes politicians, sometimes traditional rulers so and you can see why economic factor is the most prevailing factor hindering this registration.”

The Registrar further noted that candidates who were unable to register for the examination before 6am Saturday, were unable to sit for the examination.

“By six this morning, we had cases where even candidate came ready to register by payment of physical cash and transfer. We say we don’t do that. We have a process, that process should be followed and that is why we’re encouraging parents to make sure that at least they are abreast with announcements and procedures for registering for these examinations.

“This is a national examination where every child of primary school age is expected to write this examination so that the candidates will fill the state’s quota in this 115 Unity colleges.”