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JAMB Shocked By Comments Over Remitting Operational Excess To FG

JAMB Shocked By Comments Over Remitting Operational Excess To FG 

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has promised to maintain its practice of remitting operational excess to government, claiming that the remittances were in accordance with worldwide best practice, according to Dr Fabian Benjamin, JAMB’s Head of Public Affairs.

News Agency of Nigeria

In a statement to journalists in Abuja on Monday, Benjamin said the board will continue to send the constitutionally mandated share of its operating surpluses, in accordance with the current government’s instruction on remittances.

It is a well-known truth, he claims, and that all unutilized monies by Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) should be returned to the public purse.

He stated that the board and public-spirited Nigerians were thus perplexed as to the grounds for the different campaigns of slander waged by some who believe that these remittances should not be paid.

“The board reiterates that it is not within the powers of MDAs to determine the uses for which the remitted funds are put to.

“Theirs is to comply with extant directive while those given the mandate to manage the national treasury have the responsibility of appropriating and channeling such remittances.

“This is in the overall interest of the public, to identify areas of need or rather whichever area of the national economy that they perceive to be in most need of resources,” he said.

He added: “It would be recalled that the humongous remittances are the first in the history of the four-decade-old agency.

“The first landmark remittance was made in 2017 and the feat was repeated in subsequent years, in line with its belief that rules are made to be obeyed and, at any rate, the Board does not believe it should hold onto money that does not belong to it.

“It might interest these armchair critics that a direct fallout of the remittances was the decision of the Federal Government to reduce the cost of the purchase of the e-pin from N5,000 to N3,500, the cheapest globally.

“It is a truism in policy making that certain trends should be observed over a period of time before policy pronouncements are made.”

He stated that the decision to lower the price of application papers was based on the observation that even if the price was reduced, the board would be able to perform its inspection without interruption.

“In addition, it might also interest the public to know that never in the history of tertiary institutions in Nigeria have the institutions benefited from the Board’s operations as they now do.

“For instance, a huge chunk of these surpluses are ploughed back to the tertiary institutions through the National Tertiary Admissions Performance Merit Award and other platforms.

“Furthermore, many critical segments of the society, the intellectual community, the civil society groups, among others, have all been included in the management of the Board’s operational processes not only to add value to its service delivery but also to make for inclusiveness.

“All these, which were hitherto impossible, had been made possible as a result of the prudent management of resources which has enabled the Board to prosecute these aspirations,” he added.

He claimed that the cost of acquiring the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) or Direct Entry (DE) e-pin today is the lowest in the world, claiming that the comparison was not even with industrialized nations, but with countries with lower per capita GDP than Nigeria.

Benjamin went on to say that the inexpensive cost of getting the board’s application paperwork would be obvious if compared to similar tests such as IELTS, where Nigerians spend as much as N80,000 to register.

The public affairs manager stated that the current board administration was resolved to continue on the road of providing value for money, even as it sought methods to further reduce the cost of conducting the Board’s hallmark examination.

He stated that once the creative procedures that had resulted in the surpluses were institutionalized, the Board will look into ways to improve the registration process to benefit both candidates and the general public.

In as much as the Board is desirous of charging rock-bottom prices for its services, it is also mindful of the fact that a non-existent fee regime would only give room for abuses and confusion.

“This is as unscrupulous or other unserious elements, who had ulterior motives for obtaining the forms, would want to obtain them to explore opportunities for prosecuting unacceptable acts.

“As an illustration, the huge number of candidates registering for the examination multiple times before the introduction of NIN was partly owing to the fact that it costs them almost nothing, financial or punitive, to register many times.” Benjamin said.

As a result, he encouraged individuals to be wary of charlatans masquerading as educational experts who are hell-bent on spreading misinformation to advance their own objectives.

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