Saleh Abubakar, a former acting registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has explained why he asked banks to pay for application forms upfront.
Abubakar, whose tenure as JAMB’s acting registrar ended in December 2006, spoke to the board on the multiplicity of sales outlets and extortive practices that burdened applicants during his era.
He said at the time, the two-month window for the sale of application documents witnessed hoarding and scarcity that was attributed to bids among agents to make more profits at the candidates’ expense.
According to Abubakar, whose account was published in the Monday issue of JAMB’s weekly bulletin, the board couldn’t fold its arms and watch while candidates and parents bear the brunt.
“It became obvious that banks were pulling a fast one on the Board with respect to the sale of these application documents,” said the former provost of College of Education in Jalingo, Taraba.
“This was because they had turned the forms into a commodity whose value was more than its declared price.
“Hoarding and diversion of forms became the order of the day as a lot of money accrued to the banks while critical stakeholders such as parents and candidates received the short end of the stick.
“To put a stop to all that, I insisted that banks must pay upfront for all the forms they needed and that the Board would not accept so-called unsold forms back.
“That was to ensure that the Board received the revenue due to it while at the same time eliminating hoarding and diversion of forms to other states.”
Abubakar also addressed the seeming rift between JAMB and universities over which party had the exclusive right to the placement of suitably-qualified candidates in the country’s tertiary institutions.
“I believe that JAMB should only facilitate admissions to tertiary institutions and should allow tertiary institutions to conduct the admissions but subject to the oversight of the board,” he said.
“This stance is not just for avoiding friction as it is a stance consistent with the laws that set up the board and define its functions.
“It is a position that allows the Board to play its role as a regulator, ensures a level playing field for all institutions and allows it to focus on capacity building.”
Abubakar had joined JAMB in 1996 as director of admissions.
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