Emmanuel Ogah Abi

Did you know that JAMB charges #50 for every SMS sent to their 55019 short code by UTME applicants to receive the confirmation code for purchasing the UTME e-PIN?

Did you know that over 1.5m candidates will be applying to sit for the UTME this year?

Did you also know that of the over 1.5m prospective applicants, not all of them will receive the confirmation code on the first attempt? In fact, some would after three or four attempts (like my nephew who received his after three attempts with three different phone lines and was charged #50 on all three attempts).

Now let’s do the math;

If 1.5m candidates applied for the UTME and 20% of them got charged twice before receiving the confirmation code i.e. 300,000 x 100 = N30,000,000. Add that to the amount generated from the rest that got it after the first attempt, i.e. 30,000,000 + (1,200,000 x 50) = N90,000,000.

In total, JAMB is maing almost N100,000,000 from just confirmation code alone.

The UTME e-PIN costs N4,700. Now multiply that by 1.5million candidates i.e. 4700 x 1500000 = N7,050,000,000.

In total, JAMB would make an average of N7,150,000,000 for conducting a one day examination. Isn’t that ridiculous!
Let’s not also forget that some people have to take this exam more than once before securing admission into tertiary institution, making registration for this exam a financial burden to their families.

The question now is, is JAMB a revenue generating body for government or is it an examination conducting body?
If it is a revenue generating body, don’t you think that portends disaster to our education system by saddling her with the responsibility of conducting an examination as crucial as the UTME?

If JAMB is an examination conducting body, why then is there so much emphasis on generating money by her? Because it’s obvious they are so keen on making the money that they now seem distracted from their most important responsibility i.e. selecting only qualified candidates for tertiary education. Little wonder they keep recycling their questions year in-year out, making the examination more and more a like a JAMB-oree.

For proper progress to be made in our education sector, the government must as a matter of urgency define clearly the role of JAMB in the education structure of the country, and stop saddling her with the dual responsibility it’s currently burdened with.
The role of preparing our young ones for tertiary education is one too pricey to be toyed with.

Our education system is getting worse by the day, we cannot afford to let her sink any deeper.. We consistently complain of obtaining substandard education in our schools, and yet, even the monies realised from students who register for this exam isn’t properly accounted for. Snakes and monkeys are said to have swallowed a good chunk of them and we all act like it’s nothing.

If these monies must continue to be charged, then I’d advocate that proper measures be put in place to manage and reinvest them back in the education sector. This will do more good for us all.
If every year, we take a percentage of the funds generated by JAMB and invest in one university and do this rotationally till all universities are reached, somehow, we would be making some progress in bettering our tertiary education no matter how little the impact may be.

Great nations became great by investing hugely in their education sector and Nigeria cannot be like them by doing the opposite..

(c) Emmanuel Ogah Abi