For failure to pay examination fees of its students National Examination Council, NECO, has withheld results of the over 30,000 students of Niger State.
Following this development, affected students risk forfeiting their admissions into higher institutions for one or more years.
Vanguard gathered that the lean purse of the state government has hindered the release of funds to pay fees leading to the huge debt.
It said that students who graduated in 2019 and 2020 from Niger State are yet to access their results due the debt .
Recall that the state government had earlier said it would not pay the NECO fees of non-indigenes and indigent students who did not get seven credits in the mock examinations organized by the state government.
However, it was gathered that the non-indigent students who paid the NECO fees to the state government are still unable to access their results because NECO said such fees were not remitted to it by the state government.
Parents of the affected students are now in a dilemma and are appealing to the state government to expedite action in settling the debt for the sake of their children.
One of the parents, Ahmad Musa, said “My son was given admission into the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State but could not go for clearance because of the debt. “If I knew it would be like this, I would have paid for my child. Since the government has promised to pay, it should pay immediately.”
A widow who spoke with Journalists said she was greatly disappointed on the development, saying “If government had told us that they can’t pay, some of us would have struggled to pay. My son cannot go for admission now because his result is withheld.”
When contacted, Head, Information and Public Relations Division, Mallam Azeez Sani, said “the result of every candidate that paid and registered in Niger had been released. We cannot withhold results of Students who have paid, those withheld are those owing.”
Sani however advised students and their parents who claimed to have paid and registered in the state to go to the Minna office of NECO for verification and to check for their results.
He said “those who paid into the Treasury Single Account (TSA) have gotten their results”.
Efforts to speak with the Commissioner, Niger State Ministry of Education, Hajiya Hannatu Jubril Salihu did not yield positive results as she was not on seat.
An official of the ministry however confirmed that the state owed NECO some money, adding that steps were being taken to resolve the issue.