JAMB’S EXPLOITATION OF CANDIDATES: TO WHOSE BENEFIT?

– by Emmanuel Onyekwere

During the 2018/2019 admissions process into tertiary Institutions in Nigeria, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board,(JAMB) received a wide range of commendations reason being that the Board has remitted about N9bn to the coffers of the Federal Government from the money made in the course of JAMB’s activities during the season. Commendable as this may seem, considering the fact that, as reported in the papers, only a paltry sum of N300m is being expected from the Board, nobody then was meticulous enough to have questioned the source of this surplus after deducting all expenses, and making allowance for some other exigencies, the Board was still able to make such a sumptuous remittance.


Another questions that begs an answer is if JAMB has become a Revenue Generation Agency? It’s quite unfortunate that we and JAMB have forgotten the source of the money they take pride in remitting to the Federal Government, the money of course comes from no other source than the sweat of helpless and choiceless candidates and their hapless parents and guardians, which is quite unfortunate. It may not however be out of place to say that JAMB, under the present dispensation, has so much commercialised its activities that there is nothing candidates can do on the Board’s website without paying through their nose.

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Having celebrated the giant stride made by the Federal Government in reducing the Registration fee from N5,500 to N4,000, with the many other ways devised by JAMB to ‘exploit’ candidates it appears there is no difference at all. Apart from the N4,000 initial payment for the UTME form, which qualifies a candidate to sit for the matriculation examination, other post-examination activities attract prodigious fees, which in my view could have been done at much lesser cost or at no cost at all.
By way of illustration, to change from one institution to another attracts over N2,500 per candidate for each transaction, while changing from one course of study to another attracts another N2,500 or even more. To print a single-page admission letter on JAMB’s portal attracts N1,000 plus some ungodly additional charges so also is the printing of original Result Slip
Other activities attract similar astronomical charges.

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All these activities are not frivolous but necessary and mandatory for a large number of candidates (this explains why I tag it ‘exploitation because they can not ordinarily decide not to pay) Those who could not be considered for institutions and or courses of their first choice have no choice but to do change of institution or course as the case may be which, in my view, the Board uses to rip off desperate candidates. This is without mention of some other ways candidates are made to spend money, the latest now is the N50 that JAMB is charging to deliver 2019 Results to candidates – this may be reason JAMB refused to add the Result Checking Plugin to their portal where candidates can see their results without paying a dime. Though some have waited patiently that the Plugin will soon be added but it seems the wait will have to be long and many are already taking to the option of paying N50 just to see their scores, knowing that they’d still pay over a thousand naira to print out the Result Slip.

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My questions now are; aren’t these too much? Is JAMB out to enrich the Federal Government by exploiting poor Nigerians or for personal aggrandizement? To whose benefit is all these silly charges? Truth be told, JAMB can survive without charging candidates the way they do. JAMB is an Examination body not a Revenue Agency. We can be better if we take to cognisance the fact that most of the candidates having paid all these don’t even get admission into any institution and by implication must have to pay again the coming year, we should also not feign ignorance to the fact that Institutions have also their devices of exploitation.

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