The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has asked for total financial autonomy and removal from the annual national budgetary allocation.
JAMB registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede made the call while appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Finance on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) on Wednesday September 14.
Oloyede who revealed that one of the conditions set for the body was to review the examination fees upward, told the lawmakers that its registration fee was reviewed downward from N5,000 to N3,500 in 2017 after remitting N7.5 billion.
The JAMB registrar who asked the federal government to allow it revert back to N5,000 and be autonomous, also disclosed that only Finland charges exam fees as low as Nigeria.
He also stressed that no country funds such entry examinations body fully. Oloyede said;
“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 5 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 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”.