Ishaq Oloyede, Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has denied that the examination body increased the fees for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) for 2024, saying the extra money being paid by candidates is a charge by operators of Computer-Based Test (CBT) Centres to assuage the high cost of diesel.
Oloyede who stated this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education on Wednesday in Abuja, said JAMB only facilitated the process of collecting the payments so that candidates would not be exploited by the operators.
He noted that some Universities overshoot the number of students approved to be admitted for a session which causes problems for the students and promised to turn over the names of such institutions to the House Committee for further legislative action.
“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 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 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 cost of diesel.
“But you can see the press in the past one week, that JAMB has increased the cost. What we have done is to allow to 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 is 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.
“We have raised it from N700 to N1500 effective from 2024 so as to allow them to recoup. We have not increased JAMB fee. We only allowed this people to charge a better fee by adding to what they are charging but all the newspapers had reported it that we have increased the charges.
“We are ready to give you the names and you don’t need to go far. They are many of them around. It is general indiscipline. NUC gives the quota for universities, NBTE gives for polytechnics and NCC gives for Colleges of Education. But unfortunately some of these our people would go and, not only would they get more, they would not disclose the admission until candidates are ready to go on NYSC and they cannot go because without admission letter they can go.
“It is then they would talk about regularisation. How can you regularise what is not regular? So what we are saying is that you have admitted a candidate four years ago, we provided the data for Bureau of Statistics, now suddenly about one million emerged that were not registered at all and people would say it is JAMB who is holding them.
“We are holding them because they were not properly admitted. We would provide you a list of such people and you call them. Many of them would write letters of apology this year and they would still do it next year and they would write another letter of apology. You cannot kill them”, he said.
Oboku Ofoji, the Chairman of the Committee, urged the Board to reconcile its financial records with the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, noting that the interface with the examination body was not a witch-hunt, but an effort to improve the educational sector in the country.
“I want to also clear one wrong impression that it is a witch-hunt. This job is about our country and educational sector. so for us to interface with you and you see all the national televisions here, to me I was thinking that JAMB would appreciate this conversation openly. It goes a long way to inform Nigerians how prepared JAMB is. We all owe Nigerians explanations about our stewardship”, he said.