A bill that revises upwards the penalties for malpractices in the West African Examinations Council WAEC examinations, has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.

The bill seeks to amend the whole of Section 19 of the principal law to include more penalties.

The Executive Bill which was brought before members by the Majority Leader, Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola (PDP) was referred to the House Committee on Education by the Speaker, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal after it was passed Thursday.

While presenting the bill before members, the Majority Leader said the bill is to act as further deterrent to examination malpractices.

According to the lawmaker, because of the high incidences of examination malpractices, the council has thought it fit to amend the whole of Section 19 of the principal law by providing the offences constituting such malpractices to include: “Illegal possession of examination papers; Having for-knowledge of the contents of an examination paper; or Making use of an examination paper or the contents of it/ in any manner whatsoever without lawful authority.

“The Bill also provides through the amendment of Sections 20 and 21 of the principal Act, a stiffer penalty of N200.000 fine instead of N2.000 and of course provision for disqualification and prohibition of a candidate, notwithstanding criminal prosecution of such cheaters.”

According to the majority leader, the passage of the bill “will further guarantee the standard of examination which is at its abysmal level at this point in time. There will be examination standardization in Nigeria through the effective supervision by WAEC which hitherto had been eroded.”

Akande – Adeola further said Nigeria is a heavy contributor of fund to the council with considerable number of representatives on it, but is yet to domesticate the 2003 convention.

“Notwithstanding the fact that Nigeria has ratified the convention, Nigeria is the only country out of the five countries constituting the council membership that has not domesticated the convention.”

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