The West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) says it spent over N1.5 billion to conduct the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).

According to NAN, Areghan Patrick, WAEC head in Nigeria, broke the news on Friday at the 2021 budget defence before the house of representatives committee on basic education and services.

Patrick said over 1.5 million candidates sat for the examination, while 80,000 were engaged to mark the papers.

He added that each candidate paid N13,900 as examination fee, adding that only registration and administration fees came to the council’s coffers.

He also explained that the money collected from candidates does not belong to WAEC but service providers.

Patrick said WAEC is not a revenue-generating body, but an assessment body that collects money to conduct examinations for students.

He noted that the council spends money in advance to conduct examinations, adding that any examination conducted had already been paid for by previous candidates.

The council head also said WAEC is currently having a deficit of N7 billion, adding that the council was not fully funded.

He pleaded that the 2020 budget should be fully released to the council as money collected from students was not enough to conduct the examinations.

In his remarks, Julius Ihonvbere, chairman of the committee, who commended the exam body for its service to the nation, reiterated the committee’s support for the council.

Ihonvbere, however, queried the council for its revenue generation drive, urging it to emulate the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

He said that there was a need for the council to show more probity and leave a legacy.

Also speaking, Bashiru Dauda, a member of the committee, urged WAEC to look inward to boost its internally generated revenue.

He said that it would not be proper if the exam body was not contributing to the national budget.