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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

WAEC still withholds May/June SSCE results of 13 debtor states

Two months after the official release of the 2016 May/June Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination, SSCE, results, West African Examinations Council, WAEC, is still withholding the results of candidates from states that are indebted to it.
The council vowed not to release the results until the states involved pay their exam bills, amounting to over N2bn to the council.
Investigations revealed that 13 out of the 36 states of the federation are affected by the development. Eight of them are from the north, three from the South-South and two from the South-West and none from the east.
It would be recalled that almost all the states usually pay WASSCE fees for final year students in public schools. But once they are able to pay the initial and compulsory 40 per cent deposit of their total bills upon registration of their candidates, majority of the states usually find it difficult to pay the balance.
Some states like Oyo and Cross River stopped the practice last year. However, while WAEC refused to mention the states involved, checks revealed the debtor states to include Kano, Cross River, Ogun and Osun, among others.
The implication of the seizure is that affected candidates from those states are still unable to check their SSCE results online let alone using same to process the ongoing admission into tertiary institutions.
This situation, it was gathered, had put affected students and their parents in dilemma and anxiety. Investigations by our correspondents revealed, however, that the affected states were making frantic efforts to raise money to pay WAEC either in full or in installment so that the students would have access to their results.
For instance it was gathered that Kano State had reached a new agreement with WAEC and worked out modalities to resolve the issue and at the same time appealed to students and their parents to exercise more patience.
It was also gathered that Osun, Ogun and other states were in the process of paying their debts and at the same time appealed for calm.
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However, our correspondent learnt that the case of River State was different.
According to findings, it was the immediate past administration in the state that owed WAEC and not the current government which came on board last year.
Commissioner for Education in the state, Mr. Godwin Ettah, explained that the state had stopped footing WEAC fees of its students since last year and that the students were now paying for themselves starting from this year.
“Although, government is a continuous thing, WAEC has to understand the current economic situation in the country.
“It was the last administration that owed WAEC and despite the fact that there is no money, this administration still went out of its way to pay substantial part of the inherited debt and promised to pay the rest as the state financial status improves.
“But surprisingly, WAEC still went ahead to withhold the results of our students who for the first instance paid for the exam themselves.
“That action is unfair on the part of WAEC. Many of the students by this action would have been denied admission since they don’t have results to present to schools and we know the implication of that,” the commissioner lamented.
He, however, threatened that the state government as well as the students and their parents had concluded plans to take
WAEC to court for redress if the examination body failed to release the results immediately.
But spokesman of the examination body, Mr. Damianus Ojijeogu, said the action of WAEC so far was based on the original agreement with various states as clients of the council.
He explained that the agreement with the state governments as big time customers was for them to pay at least 40 per cent of their total bills upon registration of their candidates and balance up the rest before the release of the results.
“And that is exactly the agreement that WAEC has followed.”

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