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Kogi Assembly Sets December 30 Deadline For Education Ministry To Disburse N497.3 Million WAEC Exam Fees

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Kogi Assembly Sets December 30 Deadline For Education Ministry To Disburse N497.3 Million WAEC Exam Fees

The Kogi House of Assembly has issued an ultimatum, setting a deadline of December 30, for the state Ministry of Education to disburse N497.3 million in examination fees to the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

Expressing concern, the house questioned the delay in transferring the funds, which had already been released by Governor Yahaya Bello, to the accounts of the examination body.

During Thursday’s plenary sitting, Speaker Umar Yusuf delivered the ultimatum to the state Commissioner for Education, Science, and Technology, Wemi Jones. The decision came after the commissioner clarified matters related to the examination fees.

The commissioner explained that a state of confusion arose due to certain school principals collecting WAEC fees and additional levies, despite the state government releasing the funds.

In November, Governor Bello allocated the amount of N497.3 million for the payment of fees for 15,033 students spread across the 21 local government areas of the state. However, as of now, the payment has not been carried out.

During his appearance before the house, Commissioner Wemi Jones acknowledged the release of the funds but highlighted that the payment process was currently underway.

I hereby wish to 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 you 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 school principals and examination officers sternly, cautioning them against engaging in any criminal activities, such as collecting student payments for WAEC, PTA, or any other levies. He emphasized that education is free in the eyes of Governor Bello and the state of Kogi.

Commissioner Wemi Jones asserted that principals, school heads, and examination officers have neither reason nor permission to collect any amount from students as WAEC or PTA levy in Kogi.

However, he clarified that private schools are excluded from this government initiative. Those involved in private schools will undergo a verification exercise to determine the accurate number of students.

Jones further elaborated that the fee for WAEC in the state is specifically set at N33,100 for the year 2024. He issued a warning to private schools, urging them not to impose any additional charges to avoid sanctions from the ministry.