By Femi Ogunshola
Abuja, Nov. 6, 2020 The West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC), said it spent over N1.5 billion to conduct the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).
Mr Areghan Patrick, Head, WAEC National Office in Nigeria, disclosed this on Friday in Abuja at the 2021 budget defence before the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Services.
Patrick added that over 1.5 million candidates sat for the examination, while 80, 000 were engaged to mark the papers.
He said that each candidate paid N13, 900 as examination fee, adding that only registration and administration fees came to the council`s coffers.
Patrick said that WAEC is not a revenue generating body, but an assessment body that collects money to conduct examinations for students.
He said that money collected from candidates does not belong to WAEC but service providers.
He said that the council spends money in advance to conduct examinations, adding that any examination conducted had already been paid for by previous candidates.
The council head said WAEC was currently having a deficit of N7 billion, adding that the council was not fully funded.
He pleaded that the 202O budget should be fully released to the council as money collected from students was not enough to conduct the examinations.
Patrick said that envelopes used in packing answer scripts after examinations were imported, adding that most items used to conduct examinations were usually imported, mathematical sets inclusive.
In his remarks, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, Chairman of the committee, who commended the council for the great service to the nation, reiterated the committee`s support for the council.
Ihonvbere who queried the council for its revenue generation drive, urged it to emulate the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board`s revenue generation drive.
He said that there was a need for the council to show more probity and leave a legacy.
Rep. Bashiru Dauda, a member of the committee, urged WAEC to look inward to boost its internally generated revenue.
He said that it would not be proper if the examinations body was not contributing to national budget.