WEST AFRICAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL ACT
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
West African Examinations Council
- West African Examinations Council continued existence.
- Functions of the Council.
- Administrative and Finance Committee.
- Staff of the Council.
- Staff discipline.
- Application of Pensions Act.
Financial provisions. etc.
- Offices and premises.
- Compulsory acquisition of land.
- Power to accept gifts, etc.
- Power to borrow.
- Fund to be maintained by the Council.
- Expenditure of the Council, etc.
- National Committees.
- Duties of National Committees.
- Associated Countries.
- Powers and privileges of Associated Countries.
- Termination of status of Associated Country.
Offences in relation to examinations
- Penalties for illegally using examination papers.
- Leakage of examination papers, etc.
- Impersonation, etc., at examinations.
- Post-examination investigating committee: constitution of, etc.
Miscellaneous and supplementary
- Repeals and saving.
- Short title.
Supplementary provisions relating to the Council, etc.
WEST AFRICAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL ACT
An Act to replace former legislation on the establishment of the West African
Examinations Council in Nigeria, to give effect to changes resulting from the
reconstitution of the Council and to introduce various penalties in connection with
examination leakages and impersonation at examinations.
[1973 No. 27.]
[22nd June, 1973]
West African Examinations Council
1. West African Examinations Council continued existence
(1) The institution known as the West African Examinations Council shall continue
to be in existence in Nigeria and shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Act,
continue to discharge its responsibility for holding such examinations in Nigeria as may be
necessary in the public interest in the same manner as (pursuant to the laws respectively
in force in the other territories of West Africa as defined in section 24 of this Act) it may
hold examinations in such territories:
Provided that the President may, after consultation with the Council, issue directives to the
Council as to what examinations are in the public interest in Nigeria and the
Council shall in Nigeria comply with such directives.
(2) The Council shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal.
(3) The provisions of the Schedule to this Act shall have effect with respect to the
constitution and procedure of the Council and the other matters therein mentioned.
2. Functions of the Council
The functions of the Council shall be to-
(a) review and consider annually the examinations to be held in West Africa in the
(b) conduct such examinations as the Council may think appropriate pursuant to
this Act and to award certificates and diplomas on the results of examinations so conducted;
(c) consider the advisability of inviting and if thought fit to invite any other
examining body to conduct examinations in West Africa and to-
(i) award certificates and diplomas on the results of such examinations;
(ii) advise any body so invited on such adaptations of their examinations as
the Council may think necessary for the purposes of this Act; and
(iii) assist any body so invited in the conduct of such examinations in West
Africa,so however that no examinations having a lower standard than any examination of equal
status conducted pursuant to this Act shall be conducted in West Africa by any such
3. Administrative and Finance Committee
(1) The Council shall appoint from among its members a committee to be known as
the Administrative and Finance Committee to which it may delegate power to act
between meetings of the Council in respect of any matter with which the Council is charged
under this Act.
(2) The Administrative and Finance Committee may appoint a national sub-
committee in each of the countries in which the Council is established and may delegate
to any such sub-committee such powers as it thinks fit in regard to administrative and
financial matters affecting only the country in which such sub-committee is established.
4. Staff of the Council
(1) There shall be a Registrar to the Council to be appointed by the Council to man-
age the affairs of the Council under its direction.
(2) The Council may appoint such other persons to be officers and servants of the
Council as the Council may determine to assist the Registrar in the exercise of his functions.
(3) The remuneration and tenure of office and conditions of service of the Registrar
and other officers and servants of the Council shall be determined by the Council.
- Staff discipline
(1) Every employee of the Council whose salary is not less than the prescribed salary
or, if his appointment contains provisions for increases in salary, who may receive a
maximum annual salary thereunder exceeding the prescribed salary, shall be subject to
the authority of the Council.
(2) Before dismissing any employee to whom subsection (I) of this section relates,
the Council shall institute such inquiry as it shall deem fit.
(3) Any employee aforesaid who is dismissed by any committee under section 3 of
this Act to which power of dismissal shall have been delegated in accordance with that
section, shall have the right of appeal to the Council.
(4) Every other employee of the Council, other than an employee to whom subsection (I)
of this section relates, shall be subject to the authority of the Registrar, so however that
no pensionable member of the staff of the Council shall be dismissed by the
Registrar without the approval of the Council.
(5) The Council may by order published in the Federal Gazette determine the prescribed
salary for the purposes of subsection (1) above.
- Application of Pensions Act
(1) The President may by order published in the Federal Gazette declare the office of
any person employed by the Council to be a pensionable office in Nigeria for the purposes of
the Pensions Act.
(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4) of this section, the Pensions Act shall in its application
by virtue of the foregoing subsection to any office have effect as if the office
were in the public service of the Federation within the meaning of the Constitution of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
(3) For the purposes of the application of the Pensions Act in accordance with subsection (2)
of this section, any power exercisable thereunder by a Minister or other
authority of the Government of the Federation, other than the power to make regulations
under section 23 thereof, is hereby vested in and shall be exercisable by the Council and
not by any other person or authority.
(4) Nothing in the foregoing provisions shall prevent the appointment of a person to
any office on terms which preclude the grant of a pension or gratuity in respect of service
in that office.
Financial provisions, etc.
- Offices and premises
(1) For the purpose of providing offices and premises necessary for the performance
of its functions, the Council may-
(a) purchase or take on lease any land; and
(b) build, equip and maintain offices and premises.
longer required for the performance of its functions.
8. Compulsory acquisition of land
(1) Whenever there is any hindrance to the acquisition by the Council of any land required
for any purpose of the Council under this Act (including any failure by the Council to reach
agreement as to the amount to be paid in respect of the acquisition), the Minister for Education,
on the application of the Council and after such enquiry as he may
think fit, may declare that the land is required for the service of the Council.
(2) Where a declaration is made under subsection (I) of this section, the land to
which the declaration relates shall be deemed to be land required for a public purpose of
the Federation and shall be acquired under the Land Use Act.
(3) The compensation, if any, payable for the acquisition of any land under this section
or payable under the Land Use Act for the revocation of any rights relating to the
land, as the case may be, shall in the first instance be paid by the Federal Government,
but the Council shall refund to that Government any compensation so paid and all incidental
expenses incurred by that Government.
(4) A plan of any land referred to in subsection (I) of this section-
(a) containing measurements of the boundaries of the land;
(b) showing the relationship of the land to any sufficient identifying mark; and
(c) signed by the Registrar to the Council,
shall be a sufficient description of the land for the purposes of an application under that
9. Power to accept gifts, etc.
(1) The Council may accept gifts of land, money or other property upon such terms
and conditions, if any, as may be specified by the person making the gift.
(2) The Council shall not accept any gift if the conditions attached by the person
making the gift to the acceptance thereof are inconsistent with the functions of the Council.
10. Power to borrow
The Council may borrow on such terms or conditions such slims of money as the
Council may require in the exercise of the functions conferred on it under this Act or any
other written law.
11. Fund to be maintained by the Council
(1) The Council shall establish and maintain a fund from which there shall be defrayed
all expenditure incurred by the Council.
(2) There shall be paid and credited to the fund established in pursuance of subsection (1) of this section-
(a) all monies raised for the purposes of the Council by way of gift, loan, grant-in-aid,
testamentary disposition or otherwise;
(b) all dues, fees or charges for services rendered by the Council;
(c) all interest received in respect of monies invested by the Council; and
(d) all other assets from time to time accruing to the Council.
12. Expenditure of the Council, etc.
(1) The Council may from time to time apply the proceeds of the fund established
pursuant to section 11 of this Act-
(a) to the cost of administration of the Council;
(b) for reimbursing members of the Councilor of any committee set up by the
Council for such expenses as the Council thinks fit;
(c) to the payment of salaries, fees or other remuneration or allowances and
pensions, superannuation allowances and gratuities payable to the officers and
servants of the Council, so however that no payment of any kind under this
paragraph (except such as may be expressly authorised by the Council) shall
be made in Nigeria to any person who is in receipt of emoluments from the
Federal Government or a State;
(d) to the repayment of any money borrowed under section 10 or of any interest
(e) for the maintenance of any property acquired by or vested in the Council; and
(f) for and in connection with all or any of the functions of the Council under this
Act or any other written law.
(2) The Council may from time to time invest money standing to its credit in such
manner and to such extent as the Council may think necessary or expedient.
(1) The Council shall keep proper accounts and other records relating thereto and
shall cause to be prepared not later than 30 June in each year a statement of accounts
relating to the last preceding financial year.
(2) The accounts of the Council shall be audited by auditors to be appointed by the
(3) As soon as the accounts of the Council have been audited, the Council shall cause
the statement of accounts together with the auditors’ report thereon to be published in
such manner as it thinks fit.
14. National Committees
(1) A National Committee shall be established by the Council in each of the following countries, that is-
(a) the Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone; and
(b) any other country in West Africa (not being an Associated Country) as may
accede to this Act or any other law pertaining to the Council,
and each National Committee shall be composed of such persons or holders of certain
offices as the Council shall think fit.
(2) Every National Committee shall elect one of its members to be the chairman
(3) Every member of a National Committee shall hold office for a period of four
years from the date of his appointment and shall be eligible for re-appointment.
15. Duties of National Committees
(I) It shall be the duty of every National Committee-
(a) to advise the Council on any matter that may be referred to it for advice by the
(b) to elect such number of members to the Council as the Council may prescribe;
(c) to carry out such functions as the Council may from time to time delegate to it.
(2) A National Committee may at any time make a report or recommendation to the
Council on any matter relevant to the provisions of this Act.
(3) A National Committee may from time to time appoint from among its members
such sub-committees as it shall think fit to carry out such duties with which it may be
charged by such National Committee.
16. Associated Countries
(1) The Council shall have power to admit as an Associated Country any West Afri-
can country, other than those mentioned in section 14 (1) of this Act, which wishes to be
associated to a limited extent with the work of the Council.
(2) The power to admit an Associated Country shall be exercised by a resolution of
the Council passed by a simple majority of members present at an annual general meeting
of the Council but only after application for admission has been received from the country
concerned and in such manner as the Council may approve.
17. Powers and privileges of Associated Countries
(1) Every Associated Country shall have the right to appoint as many delegates as the
Council may by resolution passed at a general meeting determine to attend any of the
following meetings, that is-
(a) annual general meetings of the Council; and
(b) any meeting of any of the following bodies-
(i) all International Committees except the Appointments Committee;
(ii) all working parties engaged on revision of any examination syllabus;
(iii) unless the Registrar directs otherwise, all National Sub-Committees of
International Committees (except the Appointments Committee) of
(2) An Associated Country shall be served with copies of the minutes and all other
relevant documents of the proceedings of any meeting which it is entitled to attend under
subsection (1) of this section, but the delegates of an Associated Country shall not be
entitled to vote at any such meeting nor count towards a quorum.
(3) Every Associated Country shall bear the whole cost of sending its delegates to,
and maintaining them at, meetings of the Councilor any committee thereof.
(4) The privileges of an Associated Country shall include-
(a) the use at cost of the research and development facilities of the Test Develop-
ment and Research Division of the Council in such manner as the Director
thereof may with the approval of the Registrar recommend;
(b) the use of the data processing facilities of the Council in such manner as the
Registrar may direct.
18. Termination of status of Associated Country
Any right or privilege conferred upon an Associated Country by virtue of its association
with the Council under this Act shall cease-
(a) upon notice being served on the Council by the Associated Country that it no
longer wishes to be associated with the Council; or
(b) upon notice being served on the Associated Country by the Council that its
association with the Council has been terminated, so however that the Council
shall not serve notice unless it is satisfied that the Associated Country is no
longer ready or able to discharge the obligations of an Associated Country
under this Act or that its continued association with the Council shall not be in
the best interest of the Council.
Offences in relation to examinations
19. Penalties for illegally using examination papers
(1) If a candidate for an examination-
(a) is found before or during the examination to have had foreknowledge of live
questions or the contents of live question papers (whether or not such fore-
knowledge is in respect of one or more live questions or live question papers);
(b) in any manner unauthorised makes use of live questions or live question
papers,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 contravention
and if a candidate aforesaid has already taken any papers at the examination, his
results therefrom shall be cancelled.
(2) The penalties contained in this section-
(a) may be imposed whether or not a prosecution for an offence under section 20
or 21 of this Act has been brought or is being conducted or is contemplated;
(b) shall be in addition to such other penalties as a court may impose upon conviction
for an offence under the aforesaid section 20 or 21,and the power to impose any of the penalties
under this section shall be exercised by the Councilor by any person authorised in that behalf by the Council.
20. Leakage of examination papers, etc.
(1) Any person engaged in setting, moderating, revising, vetting, printing or in the
collection, storage, distribution or custody of live question papers or instructions, or in
making drafts or copies thereof or engaged as a supervisor, invigilator, attendant or
otherwise howsoever who, before or during the period of an examination knowingly or
recklessly and without being lawfully authorised so to do, discloses the contents of any such
live question paper or instructions, or of any draft or copy thereof to any person (whether
a candidate for that examination or not) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable
on conviction to a fine of N2,000 or imprisonment for a term of five years or to both such
fine and imprisonment.
(2) Any person (whether a candidate at an examination or not) who knowingly makes
use of the contents of any live question paper or instructions of any draft or copy thereof
in any manner howsoever, and without being lawfully authorised so to do, shall be guilty
of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N 2,000 or imprisonment for a
term of five years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
(3) Where an offence under subsection (1) or (2) of this section is committed by a
child or young person, then the provisions of any law relating to children and young persons
in force in the State in which the offence is committed or tried shall apply in relation
to the offence as they apply in relation to offences under that law.
(4) No prosecution for an offence under this section shall be instituted without the
consent in writing of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
(5) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that a prosecution for an offence
under this section may be brought against a person notwithstanding that any of the penalties
contained in section 19 of this Act has been imposed on that person in accordance
with the provisions of that section or in pursuance of section 22 (3) of this Act.
(6) For the purposes of this section-
“child” means a person under the age of fourteen years; and
“young person” means a person who has attained the age of fourteen years but is under
the age of seventeen years.
21. Impersonation, etc., at examinations
Any person who, for the purpose of an examination conducted pursuant to this Act-
(a) falsely represents himself to be some other person; or
(b) utters any document which has been issued by the Councilor by any other
lawful authority to another person, and whereby that other person is certified to
be a person possessed of any qualification recognised for any purpose or to be
entitled to any right or privilege, and falsely represents himself to be the person named in the document,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N200 or imprisonment for a term
of six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
22. Post-examination investigating committee: constitution of, etc.
(1) Whether or not a prosecution is brought under section 20 or 21 of this Act, the
Council may, within sixty days after the conclusion of an examination, in any case where
information reaches the Council subsequent to that examination that a candidate at that
examination had access to or used live questions or question papers, without lawful
authority so to do, constitute a committee to investigate the matter.
(2) Every committee set up in pursuance of subsection (I) of this section, shall consist of-
(a) a chairman who shall be a legal practitioner of not less than seven years
(b) two other persons, each being a person with wide experience in educational
(3) The committee shall at the conclusion of its investigation make a report to the
Awarding Committee of the Council containing such recommendations as to which of the
penalties set out in section 19 of this Act, are to be imposed by the Councilor otherwise
and, subject to the approval of the Council, the Awarding Committee shall take such action
thereon (including the cancellation of examination results in respect of, or of any
certificate which might have been issued by the Council to, any candidate to whom subsection (I)
of this section applies) as it thinks appropriate in the circumstances.
Miscellaneous and supplemanatory
(1) The Council may make regulations generally for its purposes under this Act; and
without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, regulations may provide for-
(a) the persons or categories of persons who may enter for examinations held or
conducted by the Council;
(b) the conduct of entrants during such examinations.
(2) Where regulations are made pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, it shall not
be necessary for their validity to cause them to be published in the Federal Gazette but
the Council shall bring them to the notice of such interested persons (including the officers
and servants of the Council) in such manner as the Council may, from time to time,determine.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-
“Council” means the West African Examinations Council as continued in existence
by section 1 of this Act;
“examination” means any examination held or conducted by or on behalf of the
Councilor on behalf of any other body by the Council pursuant to this Act;
“West Africa” means the Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone and any other
country in West Africa which may accede for the purposes of paragraph (b) of section 14 ( I ) of this Act.
25. Repeals and saving
(1) The West African Examination Council (Nigerian Status) Act is hereby repealed.
(2) Without prejudice to section 6 (I) (c) of the Interpretation Act, it is hereby declared that
any subsidiary instrument in force by virtue of any of the repealed enactments
shall, in so far as it is not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act and until such instrument
is revoked, altered or otherwise modified pursuant to this Act, continue in force
as if such instrument had been made under this Act.
26. Short title
This Act may be cited as the West African Examinations Council Act.
[Section 1 (3).]
Supplementary provisions relating to the Council, etc.
1. (1) The Council shall consist of the following members, that is-
(a) two persons appointed by the Government of the Gambia;
(b) four persons appointed by the Government of Ghana;
(c) four persons appointed by the Government of the Federation of Nigeria;
(d) three persons appointed by the Government of Sierra Leone;
(e) one person appointed by the Senate or equivalent academic body of each
university or university college in the countries served by the Council;
(f) two persons appointed by the Chancellors of the Universities of Cambridge and
London, each Chancellor nominating one person;
(g) not more than seventeen persons to be elected by the National Committees in
accordance with the provisions of this Act, the exact number from each National
Committee to be determined by the Council:
Provided that not more than nine members of the Council shall be appointed by anyone
(2) Where a country is admitted to the membership of the Council after the commencement of
this Act, that country shall be represented on the Council by not less than two nor
more than five members, the exact number of such members to be determined by the Council.
(3) The chairman of the Council shall be elected by the Council from among its members or
otherwise as the Council may determine.
(4) The Council may appoint from among its members a vice-chairman to act as chairman during
a long absence from West Africa or during the temporary incapacity from illness
or other sufficient cause of the chairman and at other times to exercise such powers as the
chairman may delegate to him.
Terms of service
2. (1) The chairman of the Council shall hold office for a period not exceeding four years
from the date of his election.
(2) A member elected by a National Committee shall retain his membership of the
Council for a period not exceeding four years from the date of his election.
(3) A member appointed pursuant to paragraph 1 (1) (a) to (f) of this Schedule shall retain
his membership of the Council during the pleasure of the appointing authority, and the
termination of such membership shall take effect as soon as notice of such termination is
received by the Council from the appointing authority.
(4) The chairman or any other member of the Council shall, on the termination of his
membership, be eligible for re-appointment:
Provided that where a member of the Council is elected to the Council by virtue of some
office or his representation of a particular interest, he shall cease to be a member of the
Council upon his ceasing to hold the said office or to represent the said interest.
3. (1) Any member of the Council appointed as the person for the time being holding a
particular office shall be entitled to nominate from amongst his immediate subordinates in office,
by written notice to the Council, an alternate member to attend any particular meeting or
meetings of the Council in his place and every such alternate member shall have all the
powers and authority of the member whom he has replaced until such member notifies the Council
that he proposes to resume his attendance at meetings of the Councilor until the term of office
of such member shall have terminated, whichever is earlier.
(2) If a member of the Council appointed otherwise than in accordance with sub-
paragraph (1) above is incapacitated by illness, long absence from West Africa or other sufficient
cause from performing the duties of his office, a temporary member may be appointed in
the same manner as, and in accordance with the same procedure under which, the incapacitated
member was appointed, to fill that office until the member’s incapacity shall have ended
or until the term of office of the member shall have terminated, whichever is earlier; and every
such temporary member shall have during his tenure of office all the powers and authority of
the incapacitated member.
Proceedings of the Council
4. Subject to this Act, the Council may make standing orders regulating the proceedings of
the Councilor any committee thereof.
5. The chairman or, in his absence the vice-chairman, shall preside at every meeting of the
Council and in the absence of both the members present at the meeting shall elect one of their
number to preside.
6. Subject to the provisions of this Act and any standing orders made thereunder, the quorum
of any body of persons established by or in pursuance of this Act (including the Council) shall
be as may be determined by that body.
7. (1) Where any body of persons aforesaid desires to obtain the advice of any person on
any particular matter, it may co-opt that person as a member for a meeting whether or not
expressly convened for the purpose of considering that matter.
(2) A person co-opted shall not be entitled to vote nor shall he count towards a quorum.
8. (1) Subject to its standing orders, the Council may appoint such other committees, in
addition to those established by this Act, to consider and report upon any matter with which the
Council is concerned.
(2) Every committee appointed under the foregoing provision shall be presided over by
such person as the Council may appoint and shall be made up of such number of persons, all
of whom need not be members of the Council, as the Council may determine in each case.
9. (1) The fixing of the seal of the Council shall be made in such manner as may be prescribed
by regulations made for that purpose by the Council.
(2) The Council may by those regulations delegate the powers to use the seal to such
members and officers of the Council as it may see fit.
10. Any contract or instrument which, if made or executed by a person not being a body corporate,
would not be required to be under seal, may be made or executed on behalf of the
Council by any person specially or generally authorised to act for that purpose by the Council.
11. Any document purporting to be a document duly executed under the seal of the Council
shall be received in evidence and shall, unless the contrary is proved, be presumed to be so
12. The validity of the proceedings of the Councilor of its committees shall not be affected-
(a) by any vacancy in the membership of the Council or any such committee; or
(b) by any defect in the appointment of any such member.
13. Any member of the Councilor any committee thereof who has a personal interest in any
contract or arrangement entered into or proposed to be considered by the Councilor any
committee thereof shall forthwith disclose his interest to the Councilor the committee and
shall not vote on any question relating to the contract or arrangement.
List of Subsidiary Legislation
1. West African Examinations Council (Declaration of Pensionable Offices) Order.
WEST AFRICAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL (DECLARATION OF PENSIONABLE OFFICES) ORDER
[L.N. 85 of 1961.]
under Cap. P4
[22nd June, 1961]
- Short title
This Order may be cited as the West African Examinations Council (Declaration of
Pensionable Offices) Order.
- Declaration of pensionable offices
The offices under the Council specified in the first column of the Schedule hereto
held within Nigeria are declared to be pensionable offices for the purposes of the
Pensions Act with effect from the date specified in the second column of such Schedule.
[Schedule. Cap. P4.]
[L.N. 40 of 1962. L.N. 69 of 1966.]
Senior Deputy Registrar
Senior Assistant Registrar
Senior Executive Officer (Accounts)
Higher Executive Officer (Accounts)
Machine Room Supervisor
Executive Officer Grade II
Assistant Executive Officer-in-Training
Assistant Chief Clerk
Senior Machine Operator Grade Grade 1 andII
Punch Room Supervisor
Secretary – Typist
First Class Clerk
Second Class Clerk
Third Class Clerk
Machine Operators Grade I and II
All Graded Typists
Driver. – Mechanic
Machine Operators-in- Training