A bill seeking to provide stiffer penalties against examination malpractice passed second reading at the House of Representatives on Thursday.
It sought to amend the existing West African Examination Council Act, 2004, to provide penalties of up to N200,000 against offenders.
Leading the debate on the bill, the House Majority Leader, Mulikat Akande-Adeola, said there was the need to amend Sections 20/21 of the Principal Act to incorporate the new fine.
From the current fine of N2,000, the amendment sought to increase it to N200,000.
Akande-Adeola added, “Furthermore, because of the high incidence of examination malpractice, the Council thought it fit to amend the whole of Section 19 of the Principal Act, providing the offences constituting such malpractice to include illegal possession of examination papers.
“Having fore-knowledge of the contents of an examination paper or making use of an examination paper or the content of it in any manner whatsoever without lawful authority.”
The majority leader also informed the House that Nigeria had yet to domesticate the 2013 Convention of WAEC.
She stated that despite being a major financier of WAEC, the country had not domesticated the convention. She said the bill also sought to domesticate the convention.
“Nigeria is the only country of the five countries constituting the council’s membership that has not ratified the convention”, the majority leader added.
The other countries are Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. The bill passed second reading in a unanimous voice vote at the session, which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal. (Punch)