NECO Staff Express Concern Over Self-Sponsorship for Promotion Exams
While acknowledging the financial challenges faced by government agencies, senior staff members expressed worry that the directive could impede career advancement for those unable to afford the expenses
Some staff members of the National Examination Council (NECO) have voiced their apprehension regarding a recent nationwide circular requiring self-sponsorship for promotion examinations in Minna, Niger State. The circular, dated January 9 and signed by Mrs Folake B. Eweje, Director of Human Resource Management, directed staff to cover the costs of transportation, accommodation, and other expenses during their stay for the exams.
This directive has sparked discontent among staff, particularly those working in state offices outside Minna, with concerns raised over the financial burden and safety implications of traveling amidst the current economic hardship and insecurity in the country. Some employees, speaking anonymously, criticized the requirement, stating it contradicts established civil service norms where promotions are based on merit rather than financial capacity.
While acknowledging the financial challenges faced by government agencies, senior staff members expressed worry that the directive could impede career advancement for those unable to afford the expenses. Additionally, staff members in a North Central state affected by banditry raised concerns over assembling at the council's headquarters for the exams.
In response, the Registrar of NECO, Professor Dantani Ibrahim Wushishi, defended the directive, stating that self-sponsorship for promotion exams at the council's headquarters is not a new practice. He emphasized that there is no legal provision for the council to cover staff expenses for such examinations and noted that similar arrangements have been made in the past without complaints.
Despite concerns raised by staff, Professor Wushishi asserted that the council's priority remains the successful conduct of examinations and that financial constraints should not hinder career advancement opportunities. The situation highlights the challenges faced by government agencies in balancing operational requirements with staff welfare considerations.