Nigerian government headed by President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, November 28, 2018, announced the reduction of the cost of the forms for Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME); Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) and Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
This was at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting. The confirmation of the decision was also confirmed by the President’s Special Assistant on Digital/Media Communications, Tolu Ogunlesi, who said the price reduction will take effect in January 2019.
While the UTME is conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), both the SSCE and BECE are conducted by the National Examinations Council (NECO). The statement did not make mention of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) that is also conducted in the country and it is not clear whether the registration fee reductions affect it too.
With this development, the price of JAMB UTME will be reduced from N5,000 to N3,500, NECO SSCE will drop from N11,350 to N9,850. Also, BECE fee has been slashed down to N4,000 from N5,500.
EduCeleb.com recalls that there have been agitations within the education sector over the past year seeking the particular reduction of fees charged in the process of applying for higher education through JAMB.
Agitators make reference to the enormous amount of income JAMB particularly announces it generated since 2017 to drive home their point.
Education Minister, Adamu Adamu was quoted after the Council meeting to have said that the decision became necessary because the examination bodies were not revenue for generation.
“The exam agencies are not meant to be revenue generating bodies. They are only supposed to cover costs/operating expenses. The sharp increase in remittances by JAMB have shown that the fees being charged could be reduced.”
Since JAMB Registrar, Ishaq Oloyede got appointed in August 2016, there have been some radical increase in the announced income generated by the agency, making critics wonder if it were an income generating agency of the government.
After the 2017 and 2018 UTME, Oloyede had claimed to have remitted over N15 billion in the two years to the government as against the less than N60 million remitted between 2010 and 2015. This feat had got the Registrar and his team a number of commendations even from the government.
At a particular instance last August, EduCeleb.com even reported that the JAMB boss alleged massive looting in the agency before he was appointed into office. The fees charged under his leadership were similar to those charged before he got appointed.
It is not clear whether the fee reduction also affects other items for which JAMB charges candidates, which some agitators have described as ‘extortionist’.
In a related development, watch the video of the JAMB Registrar revealing how much his agency made since he came into office.