The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has explained it had to increase the registration fees paid for its examinations.
The examination body said the marginal increase of the registration fee for its examination from N13,950 to N18,000 was caused by spiral inflation being witnessed in Nigeria.
The Council, however, pledged to continue to improve on its service delivery, assuring the just concluded 2022 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) will be released within 45 days after the conduct of the last paper as was the practice of the Council.
The examination body said this when the Chairman of Council, Prof Ato Essuman, led his team on a courtesy visit to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on Thursday in Abuja.
Essuman also solicited the support of the Federal Government to procure the outstanding printing machine to help the council in its service delivery.
The chairman said the machine would cost $3.9 million.
Essuman said that the building and all the external works had been completed, adding that three of the machines had already been purchased.
He however said the outstanding machine which cost $3.9 million dollars needed to be procured to enable the council achieve its mandate of conducting effective examinations.
“As a responsible and responsive organisation, the council is always seeking ways of improving its service delivery to stakeholders.
The Nigeria National Office embarked on the establishment of a Digital Printing Press for the printing of examination security materials, the first to be owned by the council in Nigeria.
“However, the project, which is nearing completion, has been stalled because we are not able to fund the acquisition of a particular machine that is vital to the operation of the system.
“I wish therefore to use this privilege extended to me today to request your kind intervention to enable us to secure the required financial assistance for the procurement of the machine,” he said.
Essuman said in the 70 years of WAEC’s existence, Nigeria stood out in the comity of member nations not only in the discharge of its obligations but also in the enthusiasm and promptness with which most of the obligations were discharged.
He thanked the government and people of Nigeria, for the support, cooperation and goodwill, which WAEC had received from its inception in 1952 to date.
Adamu promised to do his best to make sure that the federal government supported the council in achieving its mandate.
Head, Nigeria National Office, WAEC, Patrick Areghan, during a visit to one of the Council’s marking centres, in Abuja, said there had been a marginal increase of WAEC fees because of the country’s spiral inflation.
Areghan said that the conversion of naira to dollar today was a misery saying that the upward review of fees was necessary to enable the council render its services efficiently to the Nigerian child.
“There has to be that marginal increase to enable us to do better services. The examiners are now happy as we are able to increase their marking fees through this marginal increase.
The money actually went for the payment of examiners to enable us to satisfy them so that they can do the job better,” he said.
He said that each candidate registering for the examinations now has to pay N18,000 as against the former N13,950.
On whether the council was planning to introduce the Computer Based Test (CBT) in the conduct of its examinations, Areghan said CBT would only be achieved if the government provided the required facilities to enable it conduct such examinations.
He said that WAEC conducts examinations for over 20,000 secondary schools in the country and in 76 subjects and as such would be difficult to use CBT for its examinations knowing fully well that a candidate could offer as low as eight subjects.