The federal government has said that students guilty of cheating on school certificate examinations would spend five years in jail or be liable to a N250 000 fine.

Education Minister Prof Ruqayyat Rufai made the announcement after a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan wherein a bill to amend the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) Act was approved.

The act designed to enforce disciplinary action against those who commit offences and leak examination papers was amended to include a jail sentence and a hefty fine.

Offenders will now be “liable on conviction to a fine of N250 000 or imprisonment for a term of five years or to both such fine and imprisonment,” the amended act reads.