The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has announced that candidates seeking direct entry admission into any Nigerian university will now be made to sit the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
Before the new development, only candidates without diploma or other requirement for direct entry, are made to sit the UTME to gain admission into the universities. But holders of requirements for direct entry admission are only permitted to register without sitting examinations.
However, in a statement issued on Thursday and signed by its Head of Public Affairs and Protocol Unit, Fabian Benjamin, JAMB said going forward, direct entry candidates would have to sit the UTME like their fellow first year applicants, to prove the authenticity of the certificates they present for direct entry admission.
JAMB said the new development is part of the measures to curb the malpractices already identified with direct entry applications.
This is as the examination body has once again remitted the sum of N2 billion into the cover of the Nigerian government, saying it is the interim surplus for the 2023 operating year.
On Utme for DE candidates
According to the statement by JAMB, the decision was taken at the management committee meeting held “to appraise the recent crisis witnessed in the conduct of the 2023 Direct Entry registration.” It added that the seeming crisis was caused by the implementation of some of its “newly-adopted processes aimed at curbing infractions in the admission value chain given our national peculiarities.”
JAMB’s statement reads in part: “Another major policy change also to be implemented by the Board to holistically address all loopholes giving rise to abuses in the Direct Entry admission processes is that all DE candidates, which comprise those seeking to be in Year Two in the universities, would henceforth be required to sit the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination UTME along with other candidates for them to justify the possession of their A’ level certificates.
“This policy is to be situated within the ambit of the Board’s relentless efforts aimed at enhancing the growth of the nation’s education sector as it would promote transparency, accountability, and good governance. It also underscores the Board’s commitment and determination towards changing the negative narrative of A’ level admissions into higher institutions in Nigeria.”
On N2 billion remittance
The examination body said with the fresh N2 billion deposited into the federal government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), about N55 billion has been remitted to the government within the last six years of its current leadership.
It said this is contrary to less than N60 million ever remitted to the government in its first 38 years or thereabouts.
JAMB said the feat is in furtherance of its registrar, Is-haq Oloyede’s pledge to leverage on technology and discipline in the management of the affairs of the examination agency.
JAMB said: “On assumption of office of the current Registrar, he had come up with a policy which holds that whatever would be done, must be on the table. This has changed the narratives such that JAMB now posts humongous returns to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF). These returns were bolstered by the Board’s expanded internal capacities for its operations achieved through direct execution of its processes and procedures, which instantly resulted in, for instance, a savings of N1.2billion being paid annually to a service provider and a downward review of (the) N1.2billion being annually paid to another to about N400 million with the same old service provider. This is in addition to the recovery of over N1.2 billion in both cash and estates in choice areas of Abuja, in 2016.
“It was these steps and many others, which had ensured that a Board, which had remitted cumulatively in its 40 years of existence about N55 million to the national treasury, rendered N7.8 billion in the first year of the assumption of office of Prof. Oloyede and has since contributed over N27 billion directly into the national treasury.
“The remitted amount is without prejudice to the 30 per cent reduction in its application fee (N10.8 billion in 4 years since the reduction), Capital Fund (N11 billion including N6 billion, which is yet to be committed), Annual Awards/Grants to Tertiary Institutions for Capital Projects (N1 billion) and Special Staff Welfare Scheme (N2billion). This would aggregate the cumulative surplus to about N54 billion over the last six years.”
Criticism over revenue generation
While JAMB has been commended by many for its prudence and improved service delivery, other stakeholders have criticised what they described as converting the examination body to a “revenue generation agency.
According to a parent, Abiodun Bello, rather than flaunting excess funds, “it would be proper for JAMB to further reduce the cost of its UTME forms, among other services.
“To raise inquiry at JAMB headquarters, candidates are made to raise what they tagged dockets which cost about N1,500. Change of course or change of institutions which is just a click of buttons cost between N2,000 and N2,500. Rather than imposing these fees on poor parents, why not make the services free,” said Mr Bello.
Other critics like the leadership of NANS also called for the resignation of the JAMB registrar recently, accusing the leadership of making “what is seemingly simple to be complex.”
The Pioneer of Admission hub,a quintessential Educationist centered on disseminating Genuine Information as regards Educational aspect.