The House of Representatives Committee on Finance on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) yesterday rejected a proposal by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, who appeared before the committee on Wednesday, had said given the economic realities, the Board should be allowed to revert to the N5,000 fee from the current N3,500.
But the deputy chairman of the committee, Sa’idu Musa Abdulahi (APC, Niger), reverting to the N5,000 fee would transfer the burden of operations to applicants’ parents and guardians.
Oloyede had said: “We’re 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 5 years before I joined. When we came in, we remitted N7.5bn. We felt it was too much and approached the federal government to reduce the fees. We’ve not added a kobo since.
“I believe we should revert to the N5,000 we were charging. Given the inflation, if we charge N10,000, I’m just giving it as example, nobody will ask the federal government for one kobo. I’m 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.”
Oloyede also asked the National Assembly to grant financial autonomy to JAMB and remove it from the annual national budgetary allocation.
On the plan by the government’s borrowing plan, he said: “We’re hearing that you’re planning to borrow billions. We’re all going to sink at the end of the day. If there’s any way anybody believes he can save this country, we should start doing that. The earlier we start, the better for us.”
The committee commended Oloyede for their prudence and transparency in managing JAMB’s affairs.