The National Examinations Council, NECO, has procured 8,000 units of biometric capturing machines to fight identity theft and other irregularities during its May/June 2019 Senior School Certificate Examination, SSCE, exercise.
NECO also procured 20 Hilux vans in an effort to speed up the distribution and delivery of its examination materials, and address other logistic problems.
While commissioning the vehicles and machines at NECO headquarters in Minna, Niger State, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arch Sonny Echono, stressed that the biometric capturing machines were essential to ensure the credibility of NECO exams.
The Permanent Secretary who was represented by the Director of Human Resources, Ministry of Education, Dr Auwal Koko, Echono urged the management of NECO to ensure that the 20 Pickup vans were well maintained and utilized for the benefit of the nation and humanity.
The Chairman Governing Board of NECO, Dr Abubakar Sadiq, explained that the council had eliminated the use of scratch cards and adopted pin vending to check the activities of fraudsters who may take advantage of the system to defraud.
Dr Sadiq lamented that impersonation had become a major problem to public examination in Nigeria, while assuring that the biometric capturing machines would reduce incidents of identity theft up to 90 or 95 per cent.
Also speaking, the Acting Registrar, Mr Abubakar Gana, NECO had saved well over N2 billion through its prudent management of funds, adding that the agency will save even more in the future as it had fully integrated its transactions into the Treasury Single Account, TSA.
The procurements came on the heels of a recent directive by the Federal Government to all agencies conducting public examinations to clean up their registration process to restore credibility in the exercise.