Media Right Agenda accuses NECO of breaching FOI Act


A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has accused the National Examination Council (NECO) of failing to abide by the provisions of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Acts.

This was contained in a statement by the MRA Programme Manager in charge of Digital Rights, Eseohe Ojo.

According to her: “NECO as a major player within the global assessment industry whose examinations are trusted worldwide, must simultaneously work hard to enhance its credibility.”

She said the body had failed to play by the rules of being transparent and accountable.

The MRA also accused the examination body of failing to “proactively publish and disseminate information as required by the FOI Act, beyond listing fees for its various products and services.”

It said NECO breached Section 2(3)(f) and Section 13 of the Act, which stipulated that every public institution must publish the title and address of the appropriate officers to whom applications for information should be sent.

The rights group stressed that the body as a public institution, must provide appropriate training under the Act, for the public to access relevant information and records for the effective implementation of the Act.

Ojo further stated that MRA “did not have enough information to assess the level of NECO’s responsiveness to requests for information from
the public.”

It faulted NECO for repeatedly failing to submit its statutory reports to the attorney general of the federation, as the law requires.
According to the group, NECO as a critical part of Nigeria’s education system ought to instill the value of obedience to laws and regulations, transparency and accountability on the students under it.

The rights group stressed that the examination body consistently failed to submit audited annual reports to the attorney general, six years after the FOI Act was passed.

Ojo added that the MRA’s assessment on NECO was consistent with the September 2017, findings of the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) in its 2017 ranking of 166 public institutions.

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