West African Examinations Council has said the N4 billion debt owed it by some states will not prevent the Council from further granting credit to states that request for it, especially when it will help more Nigerian students acquire certificates required to further their education.
This was disclosed by the Head of National Operation of WAEC in Nigeria, Mr Charles Eguridu, during a media chat with education correspondents in Abuja recently.
Mr Eguridu, who regretted the failure of some states to fulfill their own part of the agreement they entered into with the Council, lamented that the consequence of their delay in settling their outstanding has been the ceaseless pressure mounted on it by creditors.
“We are under pressure from creditors who believe that we have enough money and are not supposed to owe them. We are not a profit making organisation. Monies paid by candidates as examination registration fees are what we use in the preparations, conduct and monitoring of the exams each year.
“Therefore, when the Council is owed such huge debt, our creditors do not believe us telling them any kind of story. They want to be paid. That was why we had to go public on the huge debt to make the states concerned see reason to off-set it.
“We also had to withhold results of those states that did not show promises by discussing how to go about settling their indebtedness, but with the pressure from so many quarters, including the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, and our own understanding that by holding unto the results, the academic progress of the affected students will be impeded, we decided to release them”, he said.
He expressed confidence on the promises extracted from the newly elected governors of the affected states and the NGF, stressing that the Council believes in the integrity of the persons who intervened and that the outstanding will be settled by them.
Meanwhile, WAEC has condemned the handling of the Junior School Certificate Examinations conducted yearly by the states, arguing that it is only in Nigeria that the Council is not allowed to handle the conduct of the examination and issuing of certificates.
Mr Eguridu, who stated this during the media chat said the way and manner the junior certificate exams were being handled did not encourage uniformity in the quality of certificates issued to Nigerian students and those acquired by same category of students of other countries where WAEC conducts and monitors the exams.
He, however, expressed optimism that the federal government will reconsider the policy and hand over the conduct of that very important certificate exams to the Council so that certificates issued in Nigeria will be at par with those of other regional member countries of the Council.

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