Why Zamfara Can’t Settle ₦1.6 Billion WAEC Debt Now – Official

The Zamfara State Government has shed light on the reasons behind its inability to immediately settle the N1.6 billion debt owed to the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).

Recently, WAEC disclosed that several Nigerian state governments have unpaid registration fees debts for candidates they had sponsored to partake in the examination over a span of years.

Patrick Areghan, the Head of WAEC’s Nigeria Office, revealed during a briefing announcing the 2023 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results for school candidates that results for candidates from eight states with outstanding debts would be withheld until payment is made.

Although Areghan did not divulge the names of all indebted states, he highlighted that “Zamfara and Niger states are the highest debtors.”

Confirming Zamfara’s debt in an interview with news men, Mustapha Jafaru Kaura, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Public Affairs to Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State, confirmed that the state owes WAEC approximately N1.6 billion.

Kaura stated, “The WAEC debt will be a priority issue presented to the cabinet, and payment will be made to enable the release of students’ results for further education.”

Attributing the debt to alleged mismanagement

Kaura explained that the substantial debt owed to WAEC is a consequence of “mismanagement by previous administrations.”

He further noted that past administrations had not settled the fees for Zamfara’s indigent students.

However, Kaura highlighted that the current administration under Governor Dauda Lawal intervened, resulting in around 18,000 Zamfara indigents being allowed to register for both WAEC and NECO exams in the year 2023.

Kaura stated, “I’m pleased to announce that the administration of Dauda Lawal has taken significant steps to engage with both NECO and WAEC. As a result, the indigent students of Zamafara were permitted to participate in the 2023 WAEC and NECO examinations.”

WASSCE 2023 Results

Aside from the debts owed by certain states, WAEC also reported that out of a total of 1,613,733 candidates who sat for the examination, the results of 262,803 candidates are being withheld due to reported instances of examination malpractice.

Areghan also highlighted the improvement in candidates’ pass rates, with 1,361,608 candidates (84.38%) obtaining credit and above in at least five subjects, with or without English Language or Mathematics.

Additionally, 1,287,920 candidates (79.81% of the total) obtained credits and above in a minimum of five subjects, including English Language and Mathematics.

Areghan clarified that among the candidates who took the examination in Nigeria, the results for 1,476,565 candidates (91.5%) have been fully processed and released, while 137,168 candidates (8.5%) have some subjects still undergoing processing.

He attributed the delay to various factors such as “shortcomings, nonchalant attitudes, incomplete CASS uploads, and non-compliance with guidelines,” which were associated with certain schools and candidates.