Determined to reduce increasing rate of examination malpractices at the West African Examination Council (WAEC) level, the federal government has proposed a five-year jail term or a fine of N200, 000 for offenders.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved a proposal presented by the Minister of Education, Prof Ruqqayat Ruf’ai, which will now be forwarded to the National Assembly for domestication.
The Council’s approval of an amendment to the WAEC Act 2004 is in line with the 2003 convention in Ghana. Prof Ruf’ai, said once it is domesticated by the National Assembly, offenders apart from the five-year jail term and fine could also be barred from taking the examination in future.
She said, “With this amendment, any person that may be caught in one of those acts can now be fined in the sum of N200, 000 or he may be imprisoned for five years or even both depending on the establishment of that offence.”
“And of course there are certain other penalties that if a candidate before or during examination is also found to have acted in breach of this subsection, in terms of what WAEC guidelines have been, that candidate shall be disqualified from taking the examination and of course may be prohibited from taking that examination in the future.”
“These are the new sections that have been added which will be significant in the history of operations of WAEC in Nigeria. Formerly, if you catch a student, there may be nothing to back you to have any penalty of fine or imprisonment or even to stop that candidate from taking examination or even future examinations.
“WAEC was established in 1952 following the acceptance of the Jeffery Report by the then colonial governments in Gold Coast (Ghana) , Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. The appropriate ordinances were passed in 1951 by the Legislative Assemblies of the respective colonial governments. Liberia joined WAEC in 1974.”
“’The ordinances have been replaced with the conventions which confers legal personality on the Council as an international organization. The Council now operates under a revised convention signed in 2003 and functions through committees. The Council finances its operation through examination fees and subventions from the various governments.”
“There is the need to domesticate the revised convention establishing the WAEC, Accra, 2003. The Council also directed the Ministry of Justice to take further necessary action on the subject,” the Minister stated.
Another memo that received Council’s attention was from the Minister of environment, Hadiza Mailafia. Council approved the adoption of the National Health care Waste Management policy and guidelines for the country and the establishment of the proposed National steering committee.
“Nigeria is a signatory to the Basel Convention on control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous wastes and disposal, the domestication of which is in progress and which necessitated the need for a national health waste policy, guideline and strategic plan.”
“Nigeria at present does not have a coordinated healthcare waste management system, especially in the area of segregation, collection, storage, treatment and disposal.”
“The Federal Government had in the past made some efforts in form of provision of high temperature incinerators at tertiary health facilities which form part of the healthcare policy and strategic plan,” Mailafia said.