Benue examinations board decries fraudulent act of staff
By Faith Igbudu
Benue State Examinations Board (BSEB) has expressed dismay at some of its staff who elected to defraud the board, saying it will not take responsibility for the losses.
The staff who were identified as mostly being casual staff had forged tax receipts, issuing same to unsuspecting principals who paid monies to them for the purpose of registration for Basic Education Certification Examination (BECE) popularly known as junior WAEC.
However trouble began when the affected principals came to the board with the fake receipts to reconcile their records with the board only for them to be told that their monies did not make it to the board’s account and so their names were not reflected in the board’s record.
Their monies did not make it to the board’s account
Executive Secretary, BSEB, Isaac Hon, revealed this in a meeting held on Tuesday with principals and school administrators in Makurdi. “Last year, we started experiencing something very ugly. Before we could round off our registrations and begin examinations, we noticed some fraudulent activities by some our staff. They were collecting registration fee from you and not remitting same to the board. We called on the concerned persons, interviewed them, after which we gave strong warning” He said.
The Executive Secretary added that “Unfortunately, this year it grew worse. Due to the economic hardship and cashless policy faced at that time. Some of our staff forged tax receipt and were collecting registration fee from many principals in the state.”
He said, the action was regrettable and unfortunate “since my arrival we have not had issues or hitches.”
Conducting examinations is the statutory role of the board, and it will not fail
The Secretary added that after due consultation with the management staff, the board resolved that it would not take responsibility for the losses.
He said with advice, the affected principals have since reported the matter to the police and investigation into it is ongoing.
Recall that the board had on the 12th April issued a circular for the postponement of the examinations which was slated to begin on the 18th of April. It however called for a meeting of the concerned persons for the same day.
Speaking about the postponement in an exclusive interview, the ES, assured the public that the examination would hold and that the postponement was a only a response to the pleas of stakeholders “conducting examinations is the statutory role of the board, and it will not fail”.
Some Principals in attendance expressed concern over the board’s decision to distant itself from the issue. Mlan Michael from Christ the King College, Naka, noted that the illegality is largely due to the failure of the board. He said, the board can deduct monies from the salaries of the implicated staff to make up.
Terver Mbagega, from Unique Secondary School, Gboko, was of the opinion that the decision to take the matter to the police was a step in the right direction.
Some principals, who spoke on the grounds of anonymity said the illegality was possible because principals during the cashless policy experienced difficulty in assessing the official account and paid into staff accounts who promised to forward it to the board. He said in his view all principals with a proof of payment should be considered.