WAEC withholds Cross River’s SSCE results over N133m debt
FOR over a year, the West African Examination Council, (WAEC) has withheld the May/June 2013/2014 SSSE results of students in Cross Rivers State following the state’s inability to complete payment of its statutory examination fees.
Following this development, students in the state cannot process their admission documents into various higher institutions in the country and the Labourt Party (LP) in the state has decried the situation as “embarrassing and unacceptable” accusing the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led government in the state of being insensitive to education and the plight of Cross Riverians.
Addressing a rally of massive supporters of LP in Ikom on Monday, the party’s Senatorial candidate for Cross River Central, Dr. Sandy Onor described the development as very frustrating to both students and their parents, noting that “children wrote WAEC since last year and till today, they have not seen their results because the government in Cross River has deliberately refused to pay WAEC.
“Why should government be the one thwarting educational progress of our young ones? The same government that claims to be bankrupt and cannot pay token for students’ results to be released is the same government spending billions of Naira to conduct simple party primaries.
“Our state is no more the cleanest in the country because dirt has taken over. Salaries are owed and people are suffering. Where are we heading? We have come to liberate Cross Rivers from slavery.”
One of the affected students who simply gave her name as Mary, said, “this government is not sensitive to our plight. Imagine how they are making us suffer. I know if it was a political matter that affects them the government will immediately rush and get money to pay.
“ I have admission into the university, but without the SSSE result to present, I cannot go anywhere. Please the government should come to our rescue because this is not healthy for us and the state”.
The State’s Commissioner for Education, Professor Offiong Offiong admitted that the state was “owing WAEC N133 million and we have paid them N108 million and the balance is N25 million which the Accountant General says he is making efforts to pay. So that is the situation”.
The LP has accused the PDP led government in the state of not giving priority to education but Professor Offiong said, “I cannot comment on that and I am not the one that controls the treasury of the state. I don’t know where they (LP) are getting their information but I think that everybody in the state has seen that even salaries have been delayed. The thing did not start now. It is a problem that has been trailing us for up to a period of one year now. The politics is just starting in the last one month or two. So this problem has been with us for some time now”.
For the students who are disturbed, he said, “we have appealed to them through the Parents Teachers Association (PTA), through their principals because this is a matter that is beyond the Ministry. The state is passing through some serious financial crisis, which calls for understanding by everybody. It is rather unfortunate, that is the last thing we would have expected to happen to our schools at this time, but be it as it may, we are hoping that we will resolve that this week”.