By Kudirat Musa
An 18-year-old Nigerian, Peter Arotiba from Kogi State, has been awarded the National Distinction and Merit Award by the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) for emerging overall best student in the 2018 examinations.
Arotiba, who is currently studying Medicine and Surgery at the University of Ibadan, graduated from the Nigeria Air Force Secondary School, Ikeja, Lagos State.
He was recognised alongside two others at the opening of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Nigeria National Committee (NNC) of WAEC, in Abuja on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Arotiba had obtained distinction in all the eight subjects offered in the 2018 West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
Speaking with journalists after the awards presentation, Arotiba said that achieving success was a function of so many factors, the chief of which was God’s grace and hard work.
“A lot of heroes, who have participated in building me up to whom I am today, instilled the spirit of excellence in me – my parents, my teachers and, personal hard work.
“I have natural passion for reading, so studying was not an issue to me. When you work hard and depend on God’s grace, one will never be disappointed.
“The sacrifice made to achieve this feat was high level of discipline during examinations as I let go of other programmes I enjoyed and concentrated fully.
“I study ahead by studying during the holidays. Lazying around during the holidays and playing around with friends during holidays were some of the things I refused doing,” he said.
Meanwhile, Olu Adenipekun, Head of National Office, WAEC, said the NNC was set up as the highest policy making organ of the council which ensured that policies were formulated in the best interest of the council.
Adenipekun said that the committee was also made to effect positive changes in the education sector of the country.
Also, Hajia Binta Abdulkadir, Chairman, NNC, said that the council had improved on its service delivery by taking advantage of the ICT to improve the service, including the online registration of candidates for WASSCE for school and private candidates.
Abdulkadir said that the development had enabled the country to handle its migration from paper to electronic enrollment for its examinations.
She added that the council had also perfected its electronic portal system, an online portal which provides an avenue for the verification of results.
She noted that the council would also be recognising the three best schools in the WASSCE, who would be subsequently presented with the WAEC endowment fund whose prize is worth 5,000 dollars.
“The council, over the years, has greatly improved on its service delivery to its numerous stakeholders. The Nigeria National Office, in particular, has taken advantage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve its service delivery.
“These, among others, include the online registration of candidates for both the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for school candidates and private candidates.
“This development has enabled the council in Nigeria to achieve 100 per cent migration from paper-based to electronic enrolment of candidates for its examinations.
“There is also deployment of Quick Response Code (QR-Code) on its certificates, which makes it impossible to falsify certificates issued by the Council,” she said
Similarly, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello, pledged the support of the ministry to the council for the advancement of education in the country.
He, therefore, commended WAEC for its role in stemming examination malpractices while providing enabling environment for education to thrive.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Miss Oluwabukunmi Adeagbo, who is currently studying Medicine at the University of Debrecen, Hungary came second while Prince Abiamamela Obi-Obuoha, now studying Mechatronic Engineering at the Afe Babalola University, came third.
WAEC also named the three overall best schools from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the 2019 WASSCE to include Loyola Jesuit College, Louisville Girls’ Secondary School and Stella Maris College, Abuja.
Members of the council are drawn from the Federal Ministry of Education and stakeholders such as representatives of All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPPS), Polytechnics, Universities, Colleges of Education, National Union of Teachers and JAMB.