National Examinations Council
One of the last acts of the Abdulsalami Abubakar military administration was the promulgation of a decree, in April 1999, that created the National Examinations Council (NECO). That act, however, was only the climax of a process whose beginning predated the administration.
Although calls for the creation of a national examination outfit had been on for over two decades earlier, the birth of NECO was not spared controversy. While some Nigerians saw its arrival as opportunity for choice of examination body for candidates to patronize, others doubted its capacity to conduct reliable examinations that could command widespread national and international respect and acceptability. Some others welcomed it for its potential, as a Federal Government parastatal, to offer subsidized registration to candidates; yet others queried even its legal status.
The NECO mandate
By its mandate, NECO was to take over the responsibilities of the National Board for Educational Measurement (NBEM) which was created, in 1992, by the Ibrahim Babangida administration, although its enabling decree was promulgated in 1993. However, the conduct of the Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) which had, hitherto, been the exclusive preserve of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) was made an additional responsibility of the new examination outfit. NECO was to take exclusive charge of the conduct of the SSCE for school based candidates while WAEC was to take charge of the same examination for private candidates. NECO was to conduct its maiden SSCE in mid 2000.
Address: Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe Way, Western Bye-Pass P.M.B. 159, Minna, Niger State.