Group make demands from JAMB, accuses agency of Exorbitant Charges

 

•Says JAMB Is not a Revenue Generating Agency

A Non-Governmental Organization, the Centre for Transparency and Defence of Human Rights (CTDHR), has written the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) over fees charged for admission seekers by the agency which the Organization described as “exorbitant”.

In a letter dated 24th August, 2021 addressed to the Registrar of the Board, sighted by The Elites Watch and signed by its President, Olukunle Ogheneovo Edun, He said the Board is not a ‘revenue-generating agency’.

Olakunle argued that the exorbitant charges are in contravention of right of admission seekers.

CTDHR therefore demands the audited accounts of JAMB for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020.

The group also demands that the agency declared the total number of students that sat for the UTME or any other exam conducted by JAMB for each of the years 2018, 2019 and 2020.

They also demanded for the total income generated by JAMB for each of the years 2018, 2019 and 2020 for the sale of UTME forms and the total sum received by JAMB from the federation accounts for each of the years 2018, 2019 and 2020.

The letter reads, “CTDHR is an organization that advocates for and entrench accountability, transparency and adherence to the rule of law in the performance of public duties by public entities and officials.

“The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board was established pursuant to the provisions of Section 1 of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board Act (Cap.J1) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010. Its functions are well spelt out in the provisions of Section 5 thereof. A joint reading of the general provisions of the Act will clearly indicate that JAMB was never the intended by the law makers to be a revenue-generating agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“It, therefore, becomes very worrying when recent activities of JAMB confirmed that over the years JAMB has been declaring billions of naira as profit and such monies remitted to the Single Treasury Account of the federal government instead of using it to subsidize the fees charged by poor Nigerian students seeking admission through JAMB. The Vanguard newspaper of August 23, 2018 was replete with a shocking headline of “JAMB’s N15.6 billion profit after tax” within two years of the administration of the respected Prof. Oloyede. While, we commend the integrity and patriotism of the Prof. Oloyede led administration of JAMB in making open declaration of this profit, unlike his predecessors, we make bold to state that converting JAMB to a revenue-generating agency of the federal government is in violent breach of the salient provisions of the Act establishing JAMB and an infringement of the constitutional rights of Nigerian students seeking admission into universities and other higher institutions of learning, who are made to pay very exorbitant fees for JAMB’s UTMEs examinations,” the group said.

CTDHR further argued that the charging policy of JAMB is unfair, inhuman and intended to frustrate struggling Nigerian students from attaining university education. They added that the activities of JAMB is oppressive and an affront on the provisions of Section 18(1) and (3) of Chapter II of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.

They said, “It is now very obvious that it is the exorbitant fees paid by the poor Nigerian students that yielded the multi-billion naira profits made by JAMB between the years 2018 -2020. One wonders where the previous billions of naira went to prior 2018. For the 2019 and 2020 UTMEs examinations JAMB charged each student huge sums in the year 2020 JAMB again declared huge profit. In a in country where the National Minimum wage is N30,000.00 (Thirty Thousand naira), the charging policy of JAMB is unfair, inhuman and intended to frustrate struggling Nigerian students from attaining university education.

“It beats one’s imagination how JAMB will conduct UTME examinations for those who had previously sat for the exams and passed but for no fault of their could not meet the high cut of marks set by Nigerian universities, whose total intake capacity is less than 50% of the total number of students that pass JAMB examinations each year. By this JAMB has succeeded in making many Nigerian students seeking higher institutions admission to perpetually sit for JAMB UTME and thereby continue to increase the profit of JAMB.

“CENTRAD-HR strongly views the activities of JAMB as oppressive and an affront on the provisions of Section 18(1) and (3) of Chapter II of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended which provides that
(1) ‘Government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels.

(3) Governments shall strive to eradicate illiteracy, and to this end Government shall as and when practicable provide …free university education’. ”

The Group warned that if the letter is not responded to within 31 days, they will sue.

“Please, be informed that should we not be in receipt of these information/documents within 31 DAYS of your receipt of this letter, CTDHR shall deem it that you have accepted the truth of the facts stated herein and shall proceed to the Federal High Court of Nigeria to seek for the appropriate judicial interventions which may include but certainly not limited to a declaration of the ill-advised JAMB’s profit making venture as unconstitutional and illegal; injunctive relief stopping further imposition of exorbitant fees on Nigerian students seeking admission and a refund of the fees collected to the students,” the group stated.

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