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Bauchi Government Says It Can’t Pay WAEC Fees For Students After Spending N3.6 Billion On Cars

The government will sponsor only about 13,000 candidates out of the 21,000 available students.

Bauchi Government Says It Can't Pay WAEC Fees For Students After Spending N3.6 Billion On Cars 1

After recently spending N3.6 billion on new cars for its officials, Bauchi State Government said it could not sponsor all the candidates from the state for the Senior Secondary School (WAEC) examinations, because of lack of funds.

In a statement on Friday, the chief of staff to the governor, Ladan Salihu, said the government will sponsor only about 13,000 candidates out of 21,000 available students.

Mr Salihu said the state has pleaded with WAEC to allow parents of the remaining 8,000 candidates to pay for their wards who did not make it on the government sponsored list.

This development is coming days after the state governor, Bala Mohammed, awarded contract to a company in which he has a stake, for the supply of a whopping 105 “official vehicles” worth N3.6 billion for the use of the governor and other government officials.

Premium Times reports that on Friday, thousands of students from Bauchi public schools protested the government’s plan to select some students to benefit from the WAEC sponsorship.

The protesters who barricaded major roads and government buildings, said the plan was against the practice of previous administrations in the state.

But Mr. Salihu said the protesters were sponsored by some “elements” in the state’s ministry of education, alleging that the officials are against the government’s ongoing reform in the educational sector.

“The government is not unaware that some elements in the education sector whose corrupt and lazy activities were stopped by the ongoing reforms are working hard to cause trouble in order to force government to rescind its stand and return to the corrupt practices of the past,” he said.

“They instigated the protesting students and accompanied them to the street. This is unbecoming of any public servant.”

He said corruption in WAEC sponsorship is one of the issues that could not be solved by past governments until now.

Mr Salihu further added that many candidates were enrolled for sponsorship which the last two governments found it difficult to settle.

Corrupt officials committed the last government to the tune of N612 million for the 2019 WASSCE alone, of which it failed to settle even a kobo, Mr Salihu said.

He said the state has conducted an aptitude test in all public schools for this purpose. Out of 21,000 students tested, 12,000 have been found eligible.

This figure, in addition to that of special schools, is what made the 13,011 candidate who the government will sponsor this year, Mr Salihu said in the statement.

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