The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has said it spent over N1.5 billion to conduct the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).

Head, WAEC National Office in Nigeria, Areghan Patrick, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at the 2021 budget defence before the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Services.

He stated that over 1.5 million candidates sat for the examination, while 80,000 examiners were engaged to mark the papers. He explained that each candidate paid N13, 900 as examination fee, adding that only registration and administration fees came to the council’s coffers.

Areghan explained further that WAEC is not a revenue generating body but an assessment body that collects money to conduct examinations for students, and stressed that money collected from candidates does not belong to WAEC but service providers.

According to the WAEC head, the examination body spends money in advance to conduct examinations, adding that any examination conducted had already been paid for by previous candidates.

He revealed that the Council is having a deficit of N7 billion, stressing that the body was not fully funded. He pleaded that the 2020 budget be fully released to the Council, as money collected from students was not enough to conduct the examinations.

Areghan further revealed that the most items used to conduct examinations, including envelopes used in packing answer scripts after examinations and mathematical set were usually imported.

In his remarks, Chairman of the committee, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, while commending the council for the great service it was rendering to the nation, reiterated the committee’s support.

He, however, queried the council for its revenue generation drive, and it urged it to emulate the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board`s (JAMB) revenue generation drive. A member of the committee, Hon. Bashiru Dauda urged the exam body to look inward to boost its internally generated revenue, adding that it would not be proper if it was not contributing to the national budget.