Senate summons JAMB registrar over admission policy
The Senate Tuesday mandated its committee on
Education to invite the leadership of the Joint
Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) over
its controversial admission policy.
The upper chamber also asked the examination
body to increase the validity of its results from one
to three years to reduce the number of yearly
It asked its committee on Education to inquire into
the circumstances surrounding the new policy
including all allegations of favouritism as well as to
review the power of JAMB in relation to admission.
It urged JAMB to consult widely with Parents
Teachers Association, Academic Staff Union of
Universities and other stakeholders in the
education sector with a view to coming up with a
friendlier, holistic, comprehensive and sustainable
This followed the adoption of a motion on â€œJAMBâ€™s
new admission policyâ€ sponsored by Senator
Joshua Lidani (Gombe South) and seven others.
Lidani in his lead debate reminded the Senate that
JAMB is a Board created by an Act of the National
Assembly in 1989 to administer a centralized
admission system for universities, polytechnics
and colleges of education in the country.
He noted that by Section 5(1) (C) 111 of the JAMBâ€™s
Act 2004, the functions of the Board among other
things, is the general control of the conduct of
matriculation examinations for admission into all
universities, polytechnics and colleges of education
and also include the placement of suitable qualified
candidates in the tertiary institutions having taken
into account, the preferences expressed of
otherwise indicated by candidates for certain
tertiary institutions and courses.
The lawmaker said that he is aware that JAMB at its
Combined Policy Meeting held on July 14, 2015 in
Abuja, announced the adoption of a policy whereby
candidates of universities with surplus applicants
for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination
(UTME) are reassigned to other universities with
lower number of candidates than their capacities.
Lidani said that he is concerned that following the
announcement of the new policy, the Board was
faced with a series of massive protest by parents,
candidates and some Organizations of Tutorial
School Operators of Nigeria over the JAMB new
The lawmaker also said that the new policy runs
contrary to the letters and spirit of Section 5(1) (C)
111 of the JAMB Act which requires the Board to
take into account preferences of the candidates in
their choices of schools.
He noted â€œthe confusion surrounding the directive
that only candidates whose name are forwarded to
the university by JAMB are eligible for post UTME
screening and others would have to go back to
JAMB website to find out their new institutions.â€
Lidani said that he is worried that although the
Federal Ministry of Education has suspended the
implementation of the policy, â€œit is observed that
JAMB is still going ahead with the implementation
thus creating more hardship for parents and
uncertainty in the education sector.â€
He added that more worrisome is the fact that
some of the candidates are posted to private
universities whose fees are beyond the means of
the student parents or guardians and in some
cases students are posted to universities located
far away from their places of abode thus placing
additional financial burden on their parents.
Senator Uche Ekwunife (Anambra Central) who
seconded the motion in her contribution asked the
Senate to prevail on JAMB to stop its policy
Senator Mohammed Danjuma Goje (Gombe
Central) wondered why a single body should be
responsible for admission into all the universities,
polytechnics and colleges of education in the
Senator Sam Egwu said that improving facilities in
the universities to accommodate more students is
the only way out.
Senator Ben Murray-Bruce said the problem is the
question of supply and demand.
He noted that while demand kept on increasing
yearly, supply is limited.
The lawmaker said that five per cent of the
countryâ€™s annual budget should be set aside for the
Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki thanked
the movers of the motion.
Saraki noted that a lot of important issues were
raised in the course of the debate that required to
be addressed by the Education Committee.
He reiterated that the committee should invite the
leadership of JAMB to respond to issues raised.
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