We ’ll continue to provide credit facilities to states, says WAEC
THE West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has said it would continue to give out credit facilities even if some states defaulted in the payment of the debts, as the Council is not a profit-based organisation but one that has been saddled with the responsibility of providing services.
WAEC’s Head of National Office (HNO), Dr. Charles Eguridu, during an interactive forum with journalists in Abuja at the weekend, said he was threatened by some ‘quarters’ that believed that the body’s decision to withhold the results of candidates in 13 indebted states could land the country in trouble.
According to him: “WAEC will continue to grant credit facilities to state governments because we are not a profit-making organisation.
And we want to believe that state governments would reciprocate this good gesture and pay money as at when due. “I want to use the opportunity to commend the Nigerian media for standing out tall and bold in spite of the danger.
I was under threat from some quarters that said what I was saying could put the country in trouble, but I was also under threat by creditors; we couldn’t even pay our creditors.
I was hiding because the assumption was that we had the money and we didn’t want to pay. My officers found themselves in similar situation, particularly the director of finance and we had to cry out and when we cried out, people were wondering how WAEC could allow itself to be boxed into such a corner. “We are not a profit-making organisation; we are a service organisation.
We were established to conduct examinations in the public interest. And that public interest is defined by the government of the day.
We are responsible to the government and the people of Nigeria.” Eguridu, who said the Council hopes that the affected states will reciprocate the gesture by fully meeting their financial obligations to the Council, said the decision was taken in order not to jeopardise the educational progress of the candidates.
We are hopeful and confident in our expectation that the governments that are owing will redeem their pledge and we have no reason to doubt them. “It is a good thing to have government pay the fees of candidates; I want to applaud the governments which are doing it. Those that are not doing it should not sit down and laugh at those who have done it,” he said.
The WAEC boss said the examination body had deployed specialised gadgets in detecting examination malpractice as the device has ability to transmit any irregularity to its database in Lagos, adding that the Council had started encrypting the data of candidates in their results to avoid falsification.
According to him, WAEC has not had any issue of examination leakages in the past five years. Speaking further, he stated that the Council had provided the Federal Government with data of the adopted Chibok girls, adding: “You will recall that during the unfortunate incident in Chibok when those innocent girls were abducted by insurgents, the security agencies, Ministry of Education and the police could not provide data of who and who were abducted.
It was the WAEC that provided the government with the pictures, names, and date of birth of each of these abducted girls. It was because our database is secure and credible.”