By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Government disclosed on Friday that it had settled the debt owed the West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) which led to the non-release of the results of candidates who sat for the exam in the state.
The government also blamed the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state of inciting teachers and youths to disrupt the peace, noting that it was aware of a grand plan to destabilise the state through sponsored protests.
In a release, the opposition party in the state, the APC had taken a swipe at the governor accusing him of “wasting a generation of youths” with the seizure of the WAEC results by the examination body.
The party stressed that by implication, pupils who made their respective cut-off marks in the last Unified Tertiary and Matriculation Examination might forfeit their admissions.
“This is a brazen act, the height of irresponsibility on the part of this government. To say the least, Governor Dickson is deliberately wasting away a generation of tomorrow’s leaders due to his inaction in this regard”, the party said.
But THISDAY learnt yesterday that the State Government had paid N174 million to WAEC to offset the outstanding fees.
The sum , it was gathered, was to augment an initial deposit of N50 million before the payment of the balance of N124 million to the examination body.
Describing the APC as “mischief makers”, the State Information and Orientation Commissioner, Mr Jonathan Obuebite, who signed a communique released after the 67th State Executive Council meeting, also accused the leadership of the state branch of the Nigerian Union of Teachers of dancing to the tune of the opposition.
“Council was informed about some of the activities of some union leaders, who have been confirmed to have collected money from the opposition to destroy the state and make the civil service, especially the teachers be at daggers drawn with the state government and that is being looked into.
“ It directed the ministry of Education to investigate and interface with the teachers and also get to the root of that report.
“The governor has also approved the total money owed WAEC and by this week, people can now access their results.
“ Council approved that every fee owed WAEC should be paid to facilitate the release of withheld results. Accordingly, all payment processes has been effected and as at today, WAEC has sent a confirmation that the money has been paid in full”, he said.
The government added, “At the meeting, SEC also frowned on the mischievous and total display of ignorance shown by the All Progressives Congress (APC) making the rounds that teachers in the state are being owed seven months salaries.
“It is a truism that teachers have been paid their two months’ salary and when they are paid this month, they would be at par with other civil servants”, he said.
Obuebite noted that Council also approved the setting up of the direct labour agency, which would be responsible in taking care of most of the minor jobs that would be done in the state.
Also approved was the release of funds to conduct three rounds of local immunisation day which would be done and completed before the end of year and the employment of 65 medical personnel, including Medical doctors, pharmacists and medical lab scientists.