From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council meeting yesterday approved the amendment to an Act of West African Examinations Council (WAEC) that will see exam cheats paying a fine of N200,000 or serve five years jail term or both.
Addressing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, Minister of Information alongside the Ministers of Education, Prof. Ruqayyat Rufai, Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, Environment, Hadza Mailafia, said the approval was to give effect to the revised convention of WAEC, 2003 in Nigeria.
Rufai had tabled a memo before the Council seeking approval for the enactment of an Act to amend the WAEC Act, CAP W4, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004 to give effect to the revised convention of WAEC, 2003 in Nigeria.
The 2004 Act, which is to be amended, was empowered to take disciplinary action against those who had committed both the offences and penalties for illegally using examination papers and leakage of examination papers, among others.
Section 19(1) of the Act reads in part as follows: “Such candidate shall not take or be allowed to take or continue the examination, in addition, he shall be prohibited from taking any examination held or conducted by or on behalf of the Council for a period of two years immediately following upon such contraventions and if a candidate aforesaid has already taken any papers at the examination, his result therefrom shall be cancelled.”
“In addition, the candidate may be prosecuted and if found guilty shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N200, 000 or imprisonment for a term of five years or to both such fine and imprisonment.”
Also, Section 20 (2) of the Act reads: “The penalties contained in this sub-section (a) may be imposed whether or not a prosecution for an offence under Section 20 or 21 of this Act has been brought or is being conducted or contemplated and (b) shall be in addition to such other penalties as a court may impose upon conviction for an offence under the aforesaid section 20 or 21.”
The Council further directed the Ministry of Justice to take further necessary action on the subject.
Maku said Council also approved a memo tendered by the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro seeking approval for the draft National Fire Safety Code for implementation nationwide.
He said the code when implemented would reduce the annual loss of N50 billion to fire incidences.
The National Fire Safety Code stipulates safety requirements in buildings estate, markets and similar structures which must be met before approval of building development plans are granted by relevant authorities.