Abuja — The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has concluded plans to regularise admissions granted to candidates into various Nigerian universities before 2016, especially those carried out through illegal means.
To this end, the board would stop the regularisation of admissions into the nation's tertiary institutions from last year.
This was disclosed thursday by the JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ish'aq Oloyede, at the training and sensitisation forum on the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS) in Abuja.
The training is to deepen the knowledge of all institution Admissions Officers on the use and operations of the CAPS and also provide information to candidates, who are also critical stakeholders and indeed the focus of the admissions exercise.
Oloyede said the move is to reform and sanitise the system in order to root out the prevailing culture of admitting unqualified students through the back door. He estimated that about 50 per cent of admission in the nation's tertiary institutions prior to 2016 were done through illegitimate means, promising to put a stop to it post-2016.
"We have a situation for example if universities admit lets say one million students, about 500,000 are done illegally. We do not yet have accurate data but we will regularise all the irregular admissions up to 2016.
However, as from 2016 onwards, we cannot regularise anybody who gets admitted through irregular means," he said.
Speaking further, Oloyede accused some renowned Nigerian universities that are at the forefront of the opposition against the new JAMB cut-off mark of hypocrisy.
He claimed that some of these universities complaining about the low cut-off marks often admit students far below the standard they seem to project to the public.
According to him, this year's cut-off marks is a right decision, citing example of the United Kingdom that have lowered their admission standards despite protests.
"Let people be sincere and stop being hypocritical. Almost all of them without exception, even admit as low as zero. They (complainants) are just grandstanding," he said.
Oloyede also clarified that contrary to public perception, JAMB is just a ranking and not an examination body like WEAC or NECO.
He stressed that the Board wouldn't have been necessary if Nigeria's tertiary institutions have the capacity to admit all the candidates, which have grown from 1,000 in 1977 to almost two million in 2017.
He said: "It is a screening to rank already qualified students. It is not UTME that qualifies a person for admission but O' Level. JAMB is to rank presumably qualified person as pass or fail is not the focus of any ranking body.
"If there are enough spaces in our tertiary institutions for these candidates, there may not be need for UTME. O' Level and A' Level results are the qualifying requirements. It is the qualifying certificate and not JAMB and that's when you are filling CAPS you must provide us with the the five credits of O' Level required for the candidate."
On why private universities are having low attractions for candidates despite the lower cut-off marks, Oloyede blamed it on the high cost of school fees and other requirement.
The JAMB Registrar also noted that the Board has started conducting ranking tests for Nigerian students in nine other countries including Benin Republic, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, United Kingdom(UK), South Africa, The Gambia, Ethopia and Saudi Arabia.
Also speaking, the Consultant IT Expert, Mr. Shuaib Salisu, said the newly introduced CAPS is to restore the autonomy of the institutions, protect academic calender, refocuse JAMB's founding ideals as clearing house, expand admission opportunities for candidates, and provide clearer and easily retraceable data.
Salisu further listed some innovative benefits of the system including upload of O'Level results, interface with NECO and WAEC for automated result verification, candidates confirmation for offer of admission, market place to source candidates and automatic enforcement of admission timeliness.
He said the CAPS also enhances admission workflow through policy meeting, user profile creation on the system, admission parameters setting on the system, candidates download by institutions, internal process by institutions including post-UTME screening, uploading of post-UTME results and further processing by institutions.