By Uzair Adam Imam
The Join Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has urged the House of Representatives to grant the examination body total financial autonomy.
The Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, who made the plea on behalf of the examination body, asked the lawmakers to remove them from the annual national budget.
He made the call on Wednesday when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Finance on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
He added that in 2017, after remitting N7.5 billion, the examination body reviewed its registration fees downward from N5,000 to N3,500. However, Oloyede said the Federal Government should allow JAMB to revert, considering the current economic development in the country.
He stated, “There is nowhere that government funds this type of examination. They actually provide some support for the institution because students pay some token as registration fees, and from it, they bear the responsibility of salaries and provide some succours.
“We are comfortable to be taken off the budget, but there are conditions. One of the conditions, for example, when students registered in 2016, we collected N5,000, and that had been on for five years before I joined.
“When we came in, we remitted N7.5 billion. We felt it was too much and approached the federal government to reduce the fees. We have not added a Kobo since.
“I believe we should revert to the N5000 we were charging. Given the inflation, if we charge N10,000– I am just giving it as an example, nobody will ask the federal government for one kobo.
“I am not aware of anywhere in the world, except maybe Finland— that charges as low as JAMB is charging. In Finland, we know that everything is free,” he said.