The West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) has taken a firm stance against state governments that have accrued debts, announcing that it will withhold the release of the 2023 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results for candidates sponsored by these indebted states. The decision, aimed at ensuring financial accountability, comes as WAEC grapples with unpaid fees from certain states, hindering the council’s ability to effectively carry out its duties.
At a press briefing held on Monday, Mr. Patrick Areghan, the Head of Nigeria Office for WAEC, expressed concerns regarding the refusal of some states to settle their financial obligations despite the council’s continued provision of credit facilities. Areghan highlighted that this financial strain has impeded WAEC’s essential operations, prompting the council to take the consequential measure of withholding results from indebted states. He named Zamfara, Niger, and six other states as those in arrears to the council.
Areghan stressed the necessity for states sponsoring candidates for the examination to demonstrate a genuine commitment to their financial pledges. He emphasized that candidates from indebted states would not have their results released until the respective states fulfill their outstanding obligations. Areghan urged these states to promptly settle their debts, enabling the affected candidates and schools to access their results.
Of the total 1,613,733 candidates who participated in the 2023 WASSCE, a notable majority achieved credit and above in at least five subjects, totaling 84.38% of the examinees. Additionally, 79.81% of candidates secured credits and above, including both English Language and Mathematics.
However, Areghan revealed that 262,803 results, representing 16.29% of the candidates, are currently withheld due to reported cases of examination malpractice. He attributed the increase in withheld results to a range of factors, including candidates’ lack of preparation, dwindling self-confidence, and over-reliance on unauthorized materials known as ‘Expo.’ These issues culminated in a challenging environment, where candidates discovered the unreliability of such materials upon entering the examination halls.
The 2023 WASSCE spanned seven weeks, commencing on May 8 and concluding on June 23. The educational community now awaits resolution regarding the withheld results and anticipates the prompt resolution of the outstanding debts owed by certain state governments.
WAEC’s resolute decision underscores the importance of financial responsibility and underscores the need for proactive measures to address longstanding debts, ensuring the seamless continuation of educational evaluations and opportunities for students across Nigeria.