Wednesday, October 5, 2022

N368 million fraud: Ex-NECO boss explains role

There have been recriminations over the missing money at NECO.

• September 27, 2020
National Examination Council [PHOTO CREDIT: Independent Newspapers Nigeria]

Abubakar Gana, a former registrar of the National Examination Council, has refuted reports that he embezzled N368 million while in office, saying he was not in office when the theft occurred.

Mr. Gana was accused of conniving with two other top officials of the examination body to commit the act.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I was appointed as acting registrar of NECO on May 10, 2018, while the purported incident occurred on December 18, 2017,” Mr. Gana said in a statement on Sunday.

There have been recriminations over the missing money at NECO. Mr. Gana’s accusers maintained that he, alongside Jacob Ekele, director of finance and accounts, and Mustapha Abdul,then-acting director of examinations, diverted the money from the council’s coffers, citing a loss of revenue occasioned by ‘missing’ 32,500 units of 2018 June/July SSCE registration cards (worth N368,875,000) at the Ibadan office of the agency.

But Mr. Gana said he actually fought corruption while in office, pointing out some reforms he initiated. He said all monies generated were sent directly to the treasury single account of the federal government, NAN reported.

Mr. Gana mentioned that between 2010 and 2017, NECO generated N900 million. But in two years, over N2 billion was 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 billion.

Officials said a thorough investigation into the scandal would continue.

Nigerians have decried how an examination body has suddenly become a revenue generating agency of government, with many raising concerns that such an arrangement would breed corruption.

In 2018, a JAMB official said snakes swallowed funds generated from the sale of result codes, drawing nationwide uproar.

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