By Samson Yaki

The Former Acting Registrar, National Examinations Council, NECO, Abubakar Gana has come forward to wash his hands off the allegation of misappropriating N368,875 million generated during the June/July 2018 registration of SSCE.

In a press statement signed by the former acting registrar of NECO , Gana Abubakar, said a report of an online media, SaharaReporters of September 25, 2020, indicted Abubakar of siphoning N368, 875 million generated during the June/July 2018 registration of SSCE, while he was Acting Registrar of the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Abubakar said the allegation would have not caused a scratch on his skin if not for the sake of putting the record straight.

“Ordinarily, I would not have bothered to dignify the half-truths and fabrications contained in the publication with a response, but for the purpose of setting the records straight.”

He disclosed that the incident in question occured on December 18,2017, while he assumed office on 10th May, 2018; adding that, ” the infractions were uncovered by the Council in 2017 under the watchful eyes of Former Registrar, Prof Charles Uwakwe, but nothing was done to bring the perpetrators to book.”

Gana further said that when he took over leadership of the Council in 2018, the misappropriation was officially reported to him, while a development that led to the setting up of both Management and Board Committees for investigation was done.

According to him, “Upon our investigations, two officials of the Council were indicted and thereby recommended for dismissal. Not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, the officials petitioned the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges in the Eight Assembly, which also found them culpable of misappropriation, but, however pleaded for leniency, a request that was rejected by the Board.”

He therefore questioned the rationale behind the online media’s conclusiin that he stole money before his appointment as Registrar, stressing that, “My administration fought corruption to a standstill by ensuring that monies generated by the Council went straight to the Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government.”

“Under my administration as Acting Registrar of NECO, the Council carried out major reforms and recorded significant strides. Between 2010 and 2017, NECO generated N900 million but in two years, we returned over N2 billion, generated as proceeds from the conduct of examination, to the federation account with outstanding states indebtedness to the Council for 2018 and 2019 growing up to N1,045,047,140.00 billion”, he boasted.

The Former Boss of the Examination Body explained that the council also abolished the use of scratch cards to ensure that monies generated go directly to the treasury single account. Which also worked to ensure reduction of examination registration fee from N11,350 to 9,850.

“My administration generated N600 million per annum from checking of result, from an initial N30 million. For the first time, the Council audited itself and dismissed over 100 staff with fake certificates.”

“The only sin I committed was to carry out a presidential directive by dismissing the erring staff, who have now made me a target of their campaign of calumny.”

“Also, for the first time, the council purchased 20 Toyota Hilux vehicles from its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to aid its logistic challenges. It is noteworthy that in my administration, NECO also carried out extensive reforms to improve the integrity of its examination by purchasing 8,000 biometric verification machines, in attempt to eliminate the issue of identity theft. ”

“From these, and many more achievements recorded during my two-year stint in office, the barrage of allegations targeted at me by SaharaReporters and its ilk, is a case of corruption fighting back.”

The former NECO acting registrar however expressed disappointment at the media outfit, and direct the management of SaharaReporters to retract the publication cited above and tender an unreserved apology to him in not less than two national dailies, within 48 hours, else he will seek redress in court.

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