The Nigerian Government has done well – it approved the downward review of examination registration fees. This is victory for us as I was the first person that pushed that Nigeria was making a mistake of over-invoicing its future by making these exams inaccessible to its poorest citizens. Yes, while many cheered that JAMB was working, by sending “profit” money to the national treasury, I saw it differently and asked government to freeze that. Sure, we commend the current registrar of JAMB for improving productivity to have saved operational costs. Notwithstanding, his brilliance should reward our young people and not the central bank.
Mixed reactions have trailed the Federal Government’s review of fees for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), Senior Secondary Certificate Examination(SSCE), and Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
Some stakeholders, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday, commended the gesture and urged the government to overhaul the education sector.
NAN reports that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the downward review of the examination registration fees which will take effect from January 2019.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who announced the reduction after the FEC’s meeting said the ?Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) fees for UTME had been reduced from N5,000 to N3,500
Specifically on JAMB, I wrote in September 2017 and followed on other posts. I made it clear that JAMB remitting money to the Federal Government was unethical and should be reversed. Education remains the only gift Nigeria gives its poorer citizens with the extensive public subsidization. If we take it away, social mobility would stall for generations. As we waged this campaign, a member of the National Assembly reached out to us and we provided some insights as Brief. This week, the rest is history: government has reduced many of the exam fees.
Nigerians cheered. JAMB (Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board) had remitted N5 billion to the federal government. We saw it as government working. Glory, even JAMB can remit money to CBN for the good of the Nigerian people.
The agency also said it had so far remitted more than N5 billion to government, the highest ever in the 40 years of its existence.
A statement signed by JAMB’s Head of Public Relations, Fabian Benjamin, said in Abuja on Sunday.
Unfortunately, that does not make it right. When JAMB charges more than it needs to run its exams into our tertiary institutions in Nigeria, it hurts the future of Nigeria. I do not understand the basis for JAMB to be remitting money to the federal government.
Simply, let the exams charge what they need; they cannot be profit-making entities. Nigeria needs its young people to have access to our highly subsidized public tertiary institutions; the exams should not become obstacles. Many of us benefited from this generosity of the Nigerian nation: my undergraduate tuition in 1998 in FUTO was N50 (less than a dollar). So, if you can get in, you would likely get out. Making getting in easier (financially) opens doors for poorer families.