Over 92,000 candidates, sat for the 2019/2020 Common Entrance Examination of National Examination Council (NECO), for admission into unity schools on Saturday.
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who made this known to newsmen when he led top officials of both the ministry and NECO on monitoring of the examination, said a total of 92,591 candidates participated in the examination that took place in 639 centres across the country.
The minister adjudged the conduct of examinations satisfactory, saying he was happy over the compliance of the examination centres and candidates to COVID-19 guidelines and protocols.
According to Adamu, the federal government had taken note of areas of improvement in planning for future examinations.
He assured that the results of the common entrance examination will be released soon for commencement of the first term, saying such development would bridge the gaps in studies created by pandemic following the closure of schools.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry Education, Arch. Sonny Echono who also spoke, revealed that the current admission capacity of the 104 federal government colleges is 30,000.
Echono said the government had established six new colleges towards providing access as well as enhancing available spaces for intending candidates.
In his reaction, Registrar of the Council, Professor Godswill Obioma, disclosed that over 280 internal monitors were recruited and were operative nationwide, to monitor the NECO entrance exams.
“26,006 candidates registered for the exams in Lagos state, 9,763 in FCT-Abuja, Anambra 6,440, Imo State 4781, Enugu State 4457,Delta State, 2,929, Niger State, 2766, Oyo State 2,258,Ogun State 2,600, ,Kaduna 1197 candidates,” Obioma said.
Among the candidates were 44,041 male candidates, 48,550 female candidates and 22 visually impaired candidates who sat for the entrance exams across Nigeria.
The Council dislosed that it witnessed an upsurge in numbers of candidates who registered for the entrance exams, saying for the 2018/2019 session, 75,000 pupils sat the exams.
According to him, the upsurge was due to an increase in awareness campaign made across the country by the council.
“NECO did visibility campaign to reinstate confidence in the populace and state that NECO is now globally competitive with all examination bodies. That is why we recorded the increase in candidates, we ensured adherence to the guidelines and protocols of COVID-19 as candidates are arranged in about two metres apart, the candidates wore face mask,” he said.