The Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, has explained that the extra money being paid by candidates was a charge by operators of Computer Based Test (CBT) centres to cover the high cost of fuel.
He therefore denied that the examination body increased the fees for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) for 2024.
He made the clarification when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education at the National Assembly on Wednesday.
According to him, JAMB only facilitated the process of collecting the payments so that candidates would not be exploited by the operators.
He said, “For the CBT centres, I also feel their pain because we also have about 45 of them owned by JAMB directly. We know what they are going through.
“The money is not paid by JAMB but by the students themselves. You know N700 for registration and N700 for examination, but given the cost of diesel this year, we only allowed them, not that we are paying them because we are collecting from the students and passing them to the centres.
“This year, we are about announcing. The advertisement is just coming out. We are going to allow them to charge as much as N1500 for UTME because of the cost of diesel.
“But you can see from the press in the past one week, that JAMB has increased the cost. What we have done is allow the CBT centres to charge more than they are charging. But because we are going to collect it for them, why are we collecting it? Because if we leave them alone, they will extort the students, and they will be collecting N4000 or N5000. That is why we said pay to us and we would transfer it to you weekly.”
The JAMB registrar berated some universities for going beyond the number of students approved to be admitted for a session, which he said causes problems for the students.
He promised to provide the names of the institutions to the House Committee for further legislative action.
The JAMB boss also said the examination body was working to recover N4.2 billion owed by Zenith Bank over previous transactions.
He stated that the matter was being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has called on the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to immediately suspend its proposed aptitude test for Direct Entry students.
This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by Muhammad Mukhtar at the plenary on Wednesday.
Presenting the motion, Mukhtar said such a policy could potentially discourage students from pursuing higher education and further exacerbate existing educational inequalities.
He said JAMB’s registrar had on Monday announced that from 2024, the board will conduct an aptitude test for all Direct Entry candidates to assess their academic potential as well as their mental or physical capacity.
By Balarabe Alkassim
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