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My dear colleagues,

I most heartily welcome you back as we resume work in all our offices across the sub-region. With a heart full of gratitude to the Almighty God for his grace which guided us in the execution of the Councilís mandate and kept our families safe throughout 2017, I pray for His continued blessings, protection and guidance in 2018 and beyond. It is the beginning of a New Year and time again for me to send to you all warm greetings and hearty congratulations on the successful completion of the Councilís scheduled activities in 2017. I wish to express sincere appreciation for your sacrifices, commitment and contributions to the successes and achievements recorded by our flagship organisation in all the member countries in the past year.

I am particularly grateful for our individual and collective commitment and vigilance which led to the leakage-free conduct of the Councilís examinations and prompt release of results in all the member countries. You pursued tenaciously the vision of optimum service delivery to the stakeholders and achieved in 2017 a drastic reduction in the time taken to process and release examination results. I am well aware that this innovation brought a lot of pressure on staff who had to work longer and harder to meet the set target in all the offices. But we are glad over the achievement which attracted public commendation for the Council in all the member countries.

I attribute this level of success to the fact that we worked together not only as a team but also as one united family. With unflinching belief in our sincerity of purpose and renewed efforts, I look forward again to leakage-free conduct of examinations and early release of results this year and in the years ahead. In particular, given the level of commitment demonstrated by Management and the keen preparations being made by staff, I have no doubt that the Council will make a success of the maiden edition of the first series of WASSCE for Private Candidates scheduled for January/February 2018 in Nigeria.

In order to consolidate on our past achievements and break new grounds in 2018 and beyond, we have to stay committed to excellence and keep giving of our best to the Council. We need to properly identify our strengths, sustain them and utilize them to the maximum. It is also important to identify those weaknesses that made our work suffer in order to either discard them or change them to sources of support for our corporate brand. We must continue to work together with unbroken team spirit within and among all the offices.

Our financial situation in 2017 was not in any way different from what we had experienced in most of the previous years. We are however, grateful to God that even at the most difficult times during the year, Councilís activities and staff welfare were not affected beyond tolerable levels. Salaries and allowances were paid and scheduled meetings were held. I commend Management in all the offices for prudent management of resources and appreciate the staff for assisting to guard against wastage and fraud.

We do not presume that the challenges which the Council surmounted in the past year have all been obliterated. We must therefore, strategize to continue to overcome most of these challenges and mitigate the effects of the rest in 2018. We must continually project the image and protect the destiny of our flagship organisation. We must evolve solutions to the menace of examination fraudsters, especially the rogue websites, and explore additional avenues for funding to avoid the pangs of unpaid contributions and shortfalls in government subventions.

Finally, I pray God to grant us the grace to achieve greater successes this year and in the years ahead. I also pray for peace and stability in all the member countries, so that our member governments can continue to support the work of the Council and fulfil their financial obligations promptly and fully.

I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous 2018.



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