Leke Baiyewu

Members of the Senate have condemned the conduct of tests for applicants by universities after the candidates had passed the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board.

The lawmakers, while debating a motion moved by Senator Umaru Kurfi (Katsina-Central) at the plenary on Tuesday, decried that candidates were finding it difficult to gain admission to Nigeria’s tertiary institutions but find it easy in other countries.

The motion was titled, ‘The Need to Revisit the Regulatory Conflict between Joint Admission and Matriculation Board and Universities in Offering Admission in Nigeria.’

Seconding the motion, Senator Shehu Sani decried that securing admission into tertiary institutions had become difficult at a time when Nigeria was struggling to protect its economy. He stated that there was the need to simplify the process of getting admission into higher institutions of learning.

He said, “JAMB has been literally ‘jamming’ the future of our young people in the sense that there have been a lot of impediments that have seriously affected their ability to get into university.

“Our concern is the fact that after JAMB (examination) is post-UTME. That becomes a series of hardships and sufferings on the way to university. The problem we are facing is peculiar to us. It is easier for a Nigerian to secure admission (into tertiary institutions) outside this country than it is here. Why should it be so?

“This is one opportunity through which this parliament can make a clear and categorical statement on the need for us to urge the Federal Government to intervene and do all that need to be done to make JAMB the only sensible, credible and efficient avenue for people to get
admission into university. This is the best option for us.”

In his submission, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, Senator Barau Jibrin, said JAMB was performing better under the current administration. “When you talk about the efficiency or integrity of JAMB, it has improved. Yes, a few years back, things were not going fine with JAMB. But the current administration of JAMB is doing very well,” he stated.

Jibrin also stated that there was no conflict between JAMB and universities on the recent downward review of cut-off marks for entry into tertiary institutions in the country.

He said the decision to set new cut-off marks was collectively done between JAMB, universities and other stakeholders, including the Senate committee. He added that the schools were at liberty to raise the marks individually.

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