Kogi assembly gives Dec. 30 ultimatum to ministry over N497.3m WAEC exam fees

LOKOJA- The Kogi House of Assembly has given Dec. 30 ultimatum to the state Ministry of Education to pay N497.3 million examination fees to the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

The house wondered why the fees, already released by Gov. Yahaya Bello, was yet to be paid to the coffers of the examination body.

The speaker of the house, Umar Yusuf, gave the ultimatum to the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Wemi Jones, during plenary sitting on Thursday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the house gave the ultimatum after the commissioner had cleared the air on issues around the fees.

He had said there was confusion caused by some school principals who were collecting WAEC fees and other levies in spite of the release of the funds by the state government.

Gov. Bello had in November, released the sum of N497.3m for the payment of the fees for 15,033 students across the 21 local government areas of the state, yet until now, the payment had not been effected.

Jones, who appeared before the house, had confirmed the release of the fund but that the process of payment was in progress.

“I hereby wish inform this honourable house that the fund released by our caring governor is not missing but intact in the coffers of the ministry’s account.

“I assure that very soon it will reach WAEC before the closing date of Jan.28, 2024 and not to any principal or school, ” he explained.
The commissioner warned principals and examination officers to desist from any act of criminality by asking students to make payments for WAEC, PTA and any other levies.

According to him, education is free as far as Gov. Bello and Kogi are concerned.

He said that principals, school heads, examination officers had no reason or permission to collect any Kobo from any student as WAEC or PTA levy in Kogi.

But he quickly explained: “Private schools are not included in this government largesse as those involved will go through a verification exercise to ascertain the true number of the students.”

Jones also explained that the fee for WAEC in the state is N33,100 only for year 2024 and warned private schools not to charge a Kobo more, so as not to be sanctioned by the ministry. (NAN)

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