The Council has the responsibility of determining examinations required in the public interest in West Africa and to conduct such examinations and to award certificates

The Council, which now operates under a revised convention signed in 2003 consists of 34 members, representing the Governments, the Universities, Secondary Schools and other interests in the five member countries. Under the Convention, the Chairmanship of the Council rotates every three years among present member-countries. Mr. Baboucarr Buoy of Gambia is the current Chairman. The first Chairman under the Convention was Nigeria's Professor M. 0. Oyawoye whose term spanned from 1985 to 1988.

Nigeria is represented by 12 members, 5 of whom are nominees of the Federal Government. The Director of Education in the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja is statutorily the Chief Government Nominee on the Council. He is also the Chairman of the Nigeria National Committee of the Council and the Administrative and Finance Committee.

Appointed by the Government
Hajiya Binta Abdulkadir, Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja.
Alhaja (Mrs.) Mulikat A.Bello,Yusuf Akinde Estate, Alagbado, Lagos.
Prof. Faruk A. Kalgo, Uthman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
Prof.Solomon A. Olorundare, University of Ilorin, Ilorin.
Prof. Victor Kogah, Imo State University, Owerri.

Council functions through Committees which include:

    The International Administrative and Finance Committee
    The International Examinations Committee
    The International Appointments Committee
    The International Tenders Board
    The National Committee(s)


The Chief Executive is the Registrar whose office is at the Headquarters Office in Accra, Ghana. Each member country has a National Office which is headed by a Head of National Office, who is in charge of the activities of the Council in that country, while the Registrar coordinates the five National Offices. In addition, the Registrar supervises the Head of Research Division (the Headquarters of which is in Nigeria, with branches in the other countries); the Director, Human Resource Management; Directors of Audit and Finance; and the Director of Administration. The Council's functions in each member country are carried out through two line Divisions: the Test Development Division and Test Administration Division. While the Test Development Division produces the syllabuses and tests to be taken, the Test Administration Division conducts the tests, and issues results and certificates. In achieving their goals, the two Divisions are actively supported by the General Administration, the Information and Communication Technologies and Finance Divisions. The Heads of these five divisions report to the Head of National Office.

The Council has two main sources of revenue to execute its operations. They are examination fees and subventions from the various governments.

Because education is regarded as a social service by the governments of member-countries of the Council, the Council is not allowed to charge economic fees for conducting examinations. The understanding has been that the shortfall between the operating costs and the fees collected, would be provided by the governments in the form of subventions. The various governments have tried to fulfil their obligations but the shortfalls have never been fully provided.

Government subventions to Council are usually in two parts:

    Funds for the international obligations.
    Funds for national operations..

Funds for the Headquarters expenses which constitute the International Obligations of member-countries to Council are apportioned from time to time following agreed parameters

The current ratio is as follows:

    Nigeria 54.25%
    Ghana 30.01%
    Sierra-Leone 6.91%
    The Gambia 6.54%
    Liberia 2.29%

The apportionment is arrived at, using such factors as workload, and number of candidates, among others. The government of each country is expected to meet the short-fall in the budget for the national operations.


In 1982, the Council set up an Endowment Fund mainly for collecting/receiving donations to prosecute its major capital expenditure of establishing a Security Printing Press; administer excellence and merit awards for outstanding performances in its examinations and fund other educational projects and research.