THE House of Representatives, on Tuesday,raised the alarm over alleged flagrant disregard to the Federal Government’s directive on the Joint Admissions And Matriculation Board’s (JAMB) cut-off mark for federal universities and urged the Federal Ministry of Education to urgently call the defaulting institutions to order, so as not to deny innocent candidates, who met the government approved cut-off points the opportunity to write post-University Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) examinations which were currently being conducted across the nation.
To this end, the House equally mandated the House Committee on Education to have an interface with both the Ministry of Education and the authorities of federal universities and allied institutions, with regards to ensuring strict adherence to government policy on education, especially when itis not in conflict with the provisions of Nigeria’s Constitution.
The House resolution was sequel to a motion moved by Honourable Victor Ogene, entitled “Blatant disregard of government’s directive onJAMB cut-off mark for federal universities: Need to call defaulting universities to order.”
According to him, “the statute setting up federal universities in Nigeria confers the powers and responsibilities of the visitor,financier and regulator on the Federal Government, represented by the president,” stressing that “such executive regulatory powers on federal tertiary education ( that are consistent with the laws of the land) are delegated to appropriate agents of the government.
In this instance,the Federal Minister of Education, to execute on behalf of the President.”
The lawmaker, while moving the motion, recalled that “the Federal Minister of Education, Professor Ruquayat Ahmed Rufa’i, had on Tuesday, June 17, at the fourth combined policy meeting on admission into National Diploma (ND), Nigeria Certificate of Education (NCE) and National Innovation Diploma (NID) awarding institutions, in Abuja, announced the government approved cut-off mark for universities as 180 and polytechnics/ colleges of education at 150 respectively, in the current 2013/2014 admission exercise in Nigeria and implored all stakeholders to follow the federal government’s guidelines.”
He, however, expressed worry that the current admission requirements by several Nigerian universities,especially the federal universities, founded and funded by the Federal Government, as published widely in the media, were in total disregard of this directive.
Speaking further, he said “while 180 marks was approved by government, eligibility for post-UTME entrance examination into federal universities, such as the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), University of Lagos (UNILAG), University of Benin (UNIBEN), Obafemi Awolowo University( OAU), University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), are pegged at 200 and above, the Federal University of Technology, Minna and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (UNIZIK), put theirs at 190 and 200 for science courses, respectively.”
The introduction of post-UTME examinations according to the lawmaker, was “part of admission requirements into Nigeria tertiary institutions in 2005, is designed to function as internal quality control mechanism in these institutions, such that the UTME result alone does not guarantee admission, but rather grants a candidate eligibility to sit for the post-UTME test of institutions of their choice.”
To this end, he said “unless the government guideline of 180 marks for universities and 150 for polytechnics and colleges of education are strictly adhered to by these federal institutions, many Nigerian youths, who scored less than 200 marks, but metthe government approved cut-off marks of 180 and 150 respectively, will be denied possible admission into theirchosen tertiary institutions, as a result of this blatant disregard of the authority and directive of the central government.”
When the motion was put to vote by the Deputy Speaker, Honourable Emeka Ihedioha, who presided over the session, it was unanimously supported by members.
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