Sokoto state government (SOSG) under Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has revealed that contrary to malicious claims by several news platforms that it is indebted to the West African Examination Council (WAEC), thus the reason why it didn’t enroll students for the body’s examinations in the past two years, it was the Council’s refusal to furnish it with details of its Tax Identification Number (TIN) that made the government to look elsewhere.
Instead of supplying the state government with the required financial propriety code, WAEC chose to ask for an advance payment of 40 per cent on the 30,000 candidates proposed for sponsorship by the government last year.
The Sokoto state Commissioner for Education, Muhammad Bello Guiwa, explained that the decline of interest to do business with WAEC after its failure to provide the TIN code, was in compliance with the States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SIFTAS) Program, which stipulates for correctness in all financial dealings embarked upon by states and local government areas in the country.
Seeking alternative to the tall order by WAEC, the state government, according to Guiwa, opted to continue doing business with the National Examination Council (NECO) and the National Board for Technical Education Board (NABTEB), all of which, along with WAEC, it has engaged in the past.
For instance, from 2016-2020, the state government paid WAEC a total of N1,655,328.300 billion for 119,318 candidates, just as the sum of N1,091,544.250 billion was paid to NECO for 111,703 candidates within the same period. In 2020 alone the administration spent over N260 million on WAEC registration fees for prospective candidates.
Prior to the advent of the incumbent administration, the SOSG has procured the services of both exams bodies for over N1.9 billion between 2000-2015.
However, jettisoning its dealings with WAEC recently did not roll back the commitment of the state government in bankrolling the payment of exam dues for deserving candidates. Between 2016-2020, the sum of over N2.7 billion was spent on WAEC/ NECO exams fees. Also, between 2021-2022, the government expended over N1.9 billion on the same project.
Special Adviser Media and Publicity to the Governor
May 11, 2022