Ishaq Oloyede, the Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), says he knows the secrets of “three or four” universities that have been criticising the new cut-off marks recently announced by the board, but he will only “smile” rather than reveal them due to the “shame” that would be generated.
In August, JAMB lowered the minimum cut-off marks for admission into universities to 120, the lowest in recent history. That of polytechnics and colleges of education were pegged at 100, and 110 for innovative enterprising institutes.
Previously, the cut-off mark for universities had hovered between 180 and 200, while that for polytechnics and colleges of education ranged from 160 to 180.
Speaking with participants at a training and sensitisation forum on Central Admissions Processing Systems (CAPS) for the 2017/2018 academic session, held in Abuja on Thursday, Oloyede said the board would no longer regularise improperly conducted admissions, beginning from 2016.
He said that all the backlog of irregular admissions up to 2015 would however be regularized, noting that the board would no longer accept what he describes as ‘under the table admission’ by the institutions.
“We know that you have abused the process, and what have you been doing before? You admit someone with 100 and some with zero and all you do is to attach a cheque of N5000 and send it down in the name of regularization, without their picture and anything and then they are regularised,” he said.
“We are saying that we have not stopped to do backlog but as from 2016 we wouldn’t allow anybody to do that kind of thing. You can no longer admit under the table. Let us know the problem. This nation is one of the nations accused of lacking accurate data.”
He accused managements of tertiary institutions of culpability in the lack of accurate data about the population of Nigerian students.
“We don’t have accurate data because what we have on record is different from what we have in real life. We cannot continue like that,” he said.
“We will proclaim to the whole world that we have 500,000 students in our institutions but in reality we have about one million. Five hundred thousands have been admitted illegally. And we cannot continue to pain the country as one of the worst in Africa.
“But it is because of our sharp practices that we do not have accurate data. We are saying come up with the problem; let’s solve the problem so that we can capture our data correctly. When we say regularisation, it means you have done something that is irregular.
“So all irregular admission, we would regularise them up to 2015 because — the students, many of them are culpable — from 2016, anybody who is not properly admitted is not properly admitted and therefore cannot benefit from backlog regularisation. That’s why this year, we say, ‘tell us exactly what you are admitting, what you want to admit’ and then [we] work with it.”
Oloyede further lamented what he called sharp hypocrisy among certain university authorities who have been condemning the recently-announced cut-off marks for admission into tertiary institutions.
He said: “Part of the problem is that we are saying that we are in a government that is talking about change and acting about change; many of you here know what we have been doing over the years.
“You come to Abuja and declare cut-off at 180; you and I, we know that you admit students with much more lower than 180 under the table so many reasons. I have seen those institutions that are pontificating over the television and I smile.
“How I wish and I always pray to God that it is the same God that created me that created Jega. If Jega can be patient, why will I not be patient? So I always believe that if I want to show you the secrets of those universities — three or four of them who are pontificating — and they would be ashamed of what they are been doing under the table. I won’t do that for many reasons.
“But let people be sincere and stop being hypocritical in what they do. they know that I’m in the position to know and I know. If any one of them is actually sincere, let him swear to an affidavit that I have not been taking less than 140, 150 and I will show that almost all of them without exception who are pontificating over screen in Nigeria admit even zero — as low as zero.”