The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu has said that the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board has so far remitted about N29 billion directly to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
Adamu made the disclosure at a policy meeting on admissions into tertiary institutions in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the board had also granted over N1 billion to tertiary institutions and expended more than N2 billion on capital projects.
Adamu added that the board had reserved N6 billion for its future expansion and as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility.
He said that the board also provided social services such as funding the freighting and delivery of donated critical hospital equipment to 12 teaching hospitals at the cost of $257,000 and ₦47million.
According to him, the board has continued to serve as a model for public agencies in vision, devotion, transparency and efficiency, yielding enormous goodwill to the government and people of Nigeria.
He pleaded with the Academic Staff Union of Universities and other trade unions in the tertiary education sub-sector to call off the on-going strike and embrace genuine dialogue as a solution.
“I urge the leadership of tertiary institutions to partner with the Federal Government in its frantic efforts at restoring industrial harmony into tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
“It is clear that a stable academic calendar is required for quality education and development in Nigeria.
“I also seize this opportunity to appeal to the trade unions in the tertiary education sub-sector to, in the interest of the future of Nigeria, call off the strike and embrace genuine dialogue as a solution to our problems,” he said.
The minister further charged institutions to comply with the policy directives as decided at the meeting,
saying that any infringement of any of the policy guidelines would be met with appropriate sanctions.
In another development, a Bill seeking to make JAMB results valid for two years has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.
The Amendment of the JAMB Act was sponsored by Tolulope Sadipe (APC-Oyo), at the plenary on Thursday.
Leading the debate, Sadipe said many students sit for JAMB examinations, come up with good grades, but for one reason or the other, they end up not being offered admission, for no fault of theirs.
She said these students and their parents are made to bear the financial burden to sit for the examination next year.
According to her, the excuse that JAMB allegedly keeps bringing up, in that regard, was that it was revenue generation for them.
“When you look at the number of students that apply for university admissions every year and the numbers that eventually get in, it is definitely not their fault, so, why should they be penalized?
“Everywhere in the world, there is no such exam that is valid for one year; Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is valid forever.
“Most universities across the world value such exams for at least five years, but here in Nigeria, JAMB is valid for just one entry, and if you do not get it, you repeat it.
“I think this is totally unfair, there are a lot of children in this country whose parents are struggling to put them through school.”
However, while contributing to the debate, Nkem Abonta (PDP-Abia), argued that extending the validity of JAMB results would defeat the aim of the entry exams.
He said that the JAMB Act, sought to regulate the mode of entry into Nigerians universities, saying that making the result valid for two to three years would cause more problems.
Abonta said the relevant committee should look at the proposed amendment critically, so as not to compound the problem, in an attempt to solve it.
Chinyere Igwe (PDP-Rivers), argued that there was a difference between an entry examination and a terminal examination.
He said, “JAMB is an entry examination, with the purpose of securing admission into a university, polytechnic or colleges of education, with a view to earning a terminal qualification.”
The lawmaker said the foreign exams mentioned by the sponsor of the bill, are terminal examinations, and not entry examinations, like JAMB.
He said that when one sat for the entry examination and did not make the cut off score, the exam was reseated.
The Rep said that making the result valid for two years would reduce the standard of education in the country.
Toby Okechukwu (PDP-Enugu) urged the house not to “throw the baby and bathwater away.”
According to him, students and their parents and sponsors had not only been suffering “double jeopardy, but several jeopardy.”
He said some students had continued to pass JAMB exams, and had not been able to go to school for over five years, which sometimes often resulted in dropping out of school.
In his remarks, the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, referred the bill to the relevant committees of the house, for further legislative actions. (NAN)