The federal government has approved a reduction in the cost of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) application forms from N5,000 to N3,500 from January 2019.
It also cut the cost of Senior Secondary Certificate Examination handled by National Examination Coun-cil (NECO) from 11,350 to N9,850 and Basic Education Certificate also handled by NECO from N5,500 to N4,000.
These adjustments were disclosed by the minister of education, Adamu Adamu, yesterday after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the reduction was a response to pleas from parents, even as he pointed out that the examina-tion bodies were not revenue generating agencies.
He said, “Since the new administration came into office and a change in management and prudent management by JAMB, we have been able to see that most of what have been charged doesn’t have to be because a lot of it had been siphoned by corrupt officials.
“So, in answer to yearnings my parents, Mr. President directed that we look into the possibility of re-ducing the charges. 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.
“As I said, our concern is not to make money as such; we are not a revenue generating agency. Since we found that JAMB has been able to bring into government coffers about N8 billion, we said we should reduce the burdens on parents.”
Asked if the reduction was motivated by the 2019 elections, he said, “A good thing doesn’t have to have a reason. Whether it is because of election or not, I think parents deserve to have the fees re-duced. And I think there is no better time to do a good thing than now.”
On his part, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Femi Adesina , said the council also approved 11 ecological interventions projects for N9.600,415,324bn in Lagos, Oyo, Ondo, Cross River, Adamawa, Bauchi, Jigawa, Niger, ABU Zaria, Kaduna and Abuja.
He gave the locations of the projects: jetty and shoreline protection facilities in Lagos; flood and ero-sion control in Oyo town, Oyo State; erosion control of flooded areas/road improvement in Owo, On-do State; erosion control of flooded areas in Akampa in Cross River; road and stem water defiance in Federal College of Education, Yola, Adamawa; road and bridges at Dutse Saki village in Buguru local government in Bauchi, and erosion control at Kazaure in Jigawa.
Others are: intervention at Main Campus Phase II, Site at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kadu-na; erosion and flood control at Kontagunra local government area of Niger State; gully erosion and road improvement at Army Post Service Estate, Kurudu, Abuja, and erosion and flood control at Asharawa Area Council in Phase II, FCT, Abuja.
During his briefing, minister of interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau, said the council approved three in-dustrial wastes combined incinerators for environmental friendly destruction of counterfeit and sub-standard regulated products. It was approved for NAFDAC at the sum of N267,585,160.
FEC also approved a business plan for ECOWAS Biometric Cards intended to replace the current ECO-WAS Travel Certificate in a contractor-financed project that will cost N14.7 billion.
He explained that the project was a recommendation of West African regional leaders since 2016 as the ECOWAS travel papers can easily be faked. The biometric cards are expected to be issued to about 13 million persons over the next 19 years, he added.
“To make it easier for Nigeria, the project will incorporate her National Identity Number (NIN). It is hoped that the new cards will help safeguard Nigeria’s borders,” he said.
The minister of state for power, works and housing, Sulaiman Hassan, said council approved two memos for his ministry .
According to him, the first one is the furnishing of the federal secretariat complexes in three states of the federation – Awka in Anambra State, Gusau in Zamfara and Yenagoa in Bayelsa State, at the cost of N3.48 billion.
He said it is the duty of the Federal Ministry Power, Works and Housing to provide decent accommo-dation for federal agencies and other offices in various states of the federation to make their work easier for better results.
“So these complexes have been completed and ready for commission before the end of the year,” he said.
Hassan further noted that FEC also approved the rehabilitation of some bridges destroyed by insur-gents in the North East region at the cost of N813,458,132.
“The first is on the road between Maiduguri, Dikwa and Gamboru; second is at the famous Limankara, there is a bridge there that links Maiduguri to Dama, Goza, Hong and Yola, at the cost of N331.2 billion and the bridge in Gombe State at the cost of N304 million.
“The total cost of the bridges rehabilitation is N813,458,132. The contractor is the Army Corps of Engi-neers that has a limited liability company, Sappers Engineering Ltd. Why we gave to Sappers Engineer-ing is because of the security concerns; no civil contractor will want to go there due to insecurity,” he stated.