The Federal Government has said that from now onward, school certificate examination offenders would spend five years in jail or pay a fine of N250,000.
This decision, which was the outcome of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday followed the approval of bill to amend the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) Act.
Education minister Prof Ruqayyat Rufai disclosed this while briefing journalists after the FEC meeting together with the ministers of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu; Environment, Hadza Mailafia and information, Labaran Maku. She noted that the approvals was to give effect to the revised convention of WAEC 2003 in Nigeria.
She 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, is empowered to take disciplinary action against those who have committed the offences and penalties for leaking and using leaked examination papers.
Section 19(1) of the Act reads in part: “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 N250,000 or imprisonment for a term of five years or to both such fine and imprisonment.”
FEC further directed the Ministry of Justice to take further necessary action on the subject.
The council also approved a memo brought before it by the minister of interior, Abba Moro, seeking approval for the draft national fire safety code for implementation nationwide.
The national fire safety code prescribes minimum standards for the establishment of a reasonable level of fire safety, property protection from hazards resulting from fire, explosion and hazardous materials.
It also stipulates 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.