The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, said the exercise was generally hitch-free nationwide.
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The Minister Of Education Monitoring Team was accompanied by the Acting Registrar and Chief Executive of National Examination Council, NECO, Ebikibina Ogborodi, and some top officials of the ministry.
They monitored the conduct of the exercise in some schools around Abuja.
The Minister noted that the goverment plans to increase the carrying capacity of the Unity Schools to 30,000, to accommodate a new stream of schools, and more candidates, who are desirous of attending the Federal Colleges.
He noted that the carrying capacity was increased to about 26,000 last year, which did not include the six new Technical Colleges, and the plan to establish five more colleges in the country, to bring the total number of Unity Colleges to 115.
The minister revealed that Zamfara, four years ago, had no student to enrol into Unity College, and has surprisingly become the first state with the highest registered number of candidates in the North, after the Federal Capital Territory.
Adamu said, the government was concerned about persistent attacks on schools and abduction of students, and has taken steps to beef up security around the colleges, while appealing to parents to allow their children to enrol for the colleges, which are established to foster national integration and cohesion.
He added that the examination is taking place at a very difficult time, following the death of the chief examiner, the late Registrar of NECO, Professor Godswill Obioma.
The Acting Registrar of NECO, John Ogborodi, said the conduct of the examination was smooth and hitch-free in all the 417 examination centres, across the country.
The Acting Registrar said, the state with the highest number of registered students in the examination is Lagos with 21,423 candidates, followed by the FCT, 8,674 candidates, Anambra 5,738 and Zamfara has 4,865, while Taraba has the least registered number of candidates of 113.
Ogborodi disclosed that the total number of females that registered for the examination is 39,555 while a total of 37,300 male candidates registered for the examination.