• The Committee on Reconciliation of West African Examinations Council Fees set up by the Kogi State government has claimed that corrupt officials in the state ministry of education had defrauded the government of huge sums meant for examination fees for the final year pupils of public schools.

    While presenting the committee’s report to the State Governor, Capt. Idris Wada, the chairperson of the Committee, Hajia Ladi Ibrahim, said that only the cumulative sum of N278.7 million was required for the payment of the WASSCE fees as against the N515 million quoted by the ministry officials.

    Some of the officials of the ministry of education, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, however, denied culpability, saying that remittance of fees, aside money for logistics, is by direct payment to WAEC

    The document further stated that a number of factors accounted for the rise in the WASSCE fees over the last three years, which include official annual increment in fees.

    Mrs Ibrahim noted that the fee rose from N8, 050 per pupil during the 2012/2013 session to N11, 450 in the 2014/2015 session. “This represents about 30 per cent rise,” she added.

    She accused ministry officials for allegedly doctoring the rules governing the unified eligibility examination, stressing that its violation gave rise to the inclusion of non-eligible candidates in examination bills payable by the state government.

    She added that there was poor regulation of the establishment of private schools, and their inclusion in the examination bill to the government.

    The report also fingered the overbearing influence of those it described as unscrupulous officials of the ministry of education, who imposed pupils on principals for the WASSCE, which she said accounted for the sharp practices.

    It would be recalled that the governor had suspended the payment of WASSCE fees for the final year pupils in public secondary schools, hinging his action on corrupt practices in the system, which necessitated the setting up of the committee.

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