By Rasaq Ibrahim, Ado-Ekiti
The Ekiti State Government has debunked report by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) that it inflated the May/June 2020 West African Examination Council fees of the Senior Secondary School 3 pupils in public schools by 25 percent.
The government had approved N248.5m for the payment of the May /June 2020 West African Examination Council fees of the Senior Secondary School 3 pupils in public schools.
But the ICIR alleged the government inflated the examination fees with N3, 500, a 25 percent increase on each of the 14, 242 students of public schools in the state.
The institution said the official charge payable on each students to WAEC is N13, 950 as against the N17, 450 budgeted for the payment of the examination fees.
A statement by the state Commissioner for Information, Aare Muyiwa Olumilua described the allegation as spurious and tissues of lies, saying the purveyors were either ignorant of the incidental expenses relating to the conduct of the examination or simply failed to patiently carry out the required due diligence, before going public with their report.
Olumilua said the government made provision for all costs in respect of the WAEC examination, from registration to the release of results, including WAEC conferences in and out of the State, as well as administrative expenses for the conduct of NECO.
Giving a breakdown of the costs, Olumilua said that the Entry fee is N13, 950 per candidate, adding that there is however administrative charges of N5, 500 per school, for schools with less than 200 candidates.
According to him, Government also paid for Reagent requirements for laboratory practicals from the various schools, Albums with candidates’ passport photographs for the archives, logistics for the administration of the examination, which would include transportation for Principals and Registrars of schools, uniform identity cards for the students, and e-registration by cybercafés.
Olumilua said that government would not be deterred or lose focus in the task of putting the State in its pride of place, among the comity of States, and indeed globally, adding that it was not the first time the administration would offset the examination fees of students in the State.
He stressed that the administration’s zero-tolerance for fraud is well-known, and would therefore not condone any fraudulent act in any sector, adding that there are apt checks and balances, and modalities that would effectively checkmate any attempt to defraud the State.
He therefore urged the general public to discountenance the allegation, and continue to support the efforts of the Fayemi-led administration, to move the State to greater heights.