A motion to make Joint Admission Matriculation Board, West African Examination Council and National Examinations Council examination bodies register students for free in the 2023-2024 academic session was rejected by the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
The motion was moved by Anamero Dekeri, a member from Edo State, who said it was aimed at helping poor parents who struggle to pay examination fees for their children in public schools.
He also asked the House to urge the Ministry of Education to declare 2023 and 2024 WAEC, NECO and JAMB registration free as a palliative for fuel subsidy removal. He further called on the Minister of Finance to come up with a framework that would give the poor masses a sense of belonging in Nigeria.
However, the motion faced opposition from some members who argued that it was not feasible or fair to compel the examination bodies or the lawmakers to pay for the students’ fees.
House Leader, Julius Ihonvbere, suggested an amendment that would require members to adopt at least one public school in their constituencies and pay their examination fees as a corporate social responsibility. But this was also rejected by some members who said it would create problems and resentment among other schools.
Awaji-Inombek Abiante, a member from Rivers State, warned that the House had no constitutional power to compel the examination bodies to register students for free. He also said that adopting a school to the exclusion of others would portray lawmakers in a bad light in their constituencies.
The motion was eventually voted down by a majority of the lawmakers at Wednesday’s plenary and the House Speaker, Abbas Tajudeen, ruled against it.