Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, the Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has faulted calls for an extension of the validity of JAMB results beyond one year.
Oloyede said this at a hearing on the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) by the House of Representatives Committee on Finance on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that those calling for the extension of the validity of the result have not considered its nature and many factors involved.
“Somebody who takes our exams this year and scores 240 and wants to read medicine, he knows that without 280, he cannot go, and you tell him not to take exams, even though he waits for 10 years, he cannot have it because, some other new sets will take exams and score higher marks and the man will remain where he is.
“For those who read education, we have two types of examinations in which you would have determined the pass mark; you will say 50 per cent is a credit, anybody who attains it goes. And anybody who does not, has failed.
“But the examination we are conducting, if you like, it is a one chance examination, it cannot be banked because it is a ranking examination; it is not an examination that determines the full assessment of the candidate,” he said.
“Our examination does not qualify you for any placement, it is your five credits in 0’level that places you in the university or polytechnic, our own exams is to say there are more people who are qualified, let us rank them
“If you have 400 over 400 in JAMB and you do not have five credits in 0’level, you are going nowhere”.
Oloyede urged the committee to remove JAMB from the annual national budget by granting it total autonomy to reduce the burden on the national treasury.
The registrar, however, said that as condition for the autonomy, JAMB should be allowed to jerk its fees to N5,000 as it was a few years ago.
He said that the board decided to review the fees downward in 2017 from N5000 to N3500 after remitting N7.5 billion into government coffers as operating surplus.
Oloyede said given the current economic realities, JAMB should be allowed to revert back to N5,000, saying that except in Finland, no country’s examination body charged low fees as that of Nigeria.
“There is nowhere that government funds this type of examination. They actually provide some support for the institution because students pay some token as registration fees and from it, they bear the responsibility of salaries and provide some succours.
“We are comfortable to be taken off the budget but there are conditions. One of the conditions for example, when students registered in 2016, we collected N5,000 and that had been on for fives years before I joined.
“When we came in, we remitted N7.5 billion. We felt it was too much and approached the federal government to reduce the fees. We have not added a kobo since,” he said.
“I believe we should revert to the N5000 we were charging. Given the inflation, if we charge N10, 000, I am just giving it as example, nobody will ask the federal government for one kobo.
“I am not aware of anywhere in the world, except maybe Finland— that charges as low as JAMB is charging. In Finland, we know that everything is free.
“We are hearing that you are planning to borrow billions. We are all going to sink at the end of the day. If there is any way anybody believes he can save this country, we should start doing that. The earlier we start the better for us.”
The Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Saidu Abdulahi (APC-Niger) commended the registrar for his financial prudence.