Stories from Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, has described the notion that the capacity of Nigerian universities was far below the number of candidates that qualify for admission in a particular academic year as untrue.
The JAMB helmsman thus challenged the agencies that regularly churn out such figures to justify them or quit misinforming Nigerians and inciting them against the board.
Oloyede, on the sidelines of the 2016 Higher Education Summit in Abuja on Monday, said: “The fact that 1.5 million candidates sat for JAMB exams in a particular year does not translate to same figure qualifying for admission. It is only those with the requisite 180 cut-off marks, as stipulated by the admission guidelines, that would be considered. Even among the candidates that scored 180, a significant number of them might not have five credits required for varsity admission,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwuka, has mandated JAMB to, henceforth, publish the full list of unutilised admission slots into all tertiary institutions on a course-by-course basis at the end of the first leg of the admission process, to enable candidates and parents take full advantage of existing admission vacancies in institutions where they exist.
The minister stressed that the transparency would prevent a situation where some institutions have more than the number of students they need, while others struggle to fill their quota. He, however, advised parents not to keep their wards at home for having not secured admission into a particular institution or course of their choice, but to have them in school while they await admission into their school and courses of choice.
EDUCATION: ••• FG scraps unified cut-off mark for varsities, others
The Federal Government has approved the scrapping of the unified cut-off mark hitherto used by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) as a criterion for admission into tertiary institutions.
This means that the board has been given permission to approve discriminatory cut-off marks for different institutions, believing that such would promote fairness and equity to all interested candidates.
A statement issued in Abuja on Monday by the Deputy Director (Press) in the Ministry of Education, Mr. Ben Goong, noted that the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, announced the development after his meeting with chief executive officers under the ministry.
The minister, however, asked JAMB to consult widely with stakeholders to develop separate cut-off marks for universities, polytechnics and colleges of education admissions that would take effect from 2017/2018.
Part of the statement read: “It makes no sense subjecting candidates who are seeking admission into various tertiary institutions to the same cut-off marks when the durations and contents of their courses are radically different.”
JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyode, had initiated the argument that the unified cut-off mark hitherto adopted by the Federal Government had outlived its relevance, particularly when colleges of education and polytechnics admit for NCE and diplomas, while universities admit for degrees.
FINANCE : We save N20bn monthly from MDAs’ audit – Adeosun
From Uche Usim, Abuja
Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, yesterday disclosed that the continuous audit of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) has blocked revenue leakages, thus saving the Federal Government about N20 billion monthly.
The savings, she said, came from reduced monthly wage bill across the MDAs from N165 billion to N145 billion, adding that an additional N15 billion has been saved from overheads and reduction in excessive foreign travels and other allowances through the Efficiency Unit of the Finance Ministry.
Speaking in Abuja, at a workshop on cost management, organised for directors and top civil servants of MDAs by the Efficiency Unit, Adeosun, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, said plans were afoot to make the MDAs more efficient at minimal operational cost.
The minister noted that efforts of the presidential committee on audit of MDAs have started yielding positive result, as agencies now avoid unnecessary spending.
Underlining the importance of the workshop, the Permanent Secretary said the Federal Government was not only concerned about cutting cost of governance but also getting value for money spent.
NHIS: NHIS wants universal health coverage as constituency projects
From Magnus Eze and Patrick Ochife, Abuja
Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf, yesterday said health care was not only a human right but also tool for poverty reduction in Nigeria. Stating that health insurance ensures that the rich subsidise medical care for the poor, he appealed to legislators to make universal health coverage part of their constituency projects. He also urged wealthy Nigerians to make health care funding their philanthropic projects.
Yusuf spoke at the opening of a two-day retreat for directors of the National Orientation Agency and officers of the NHIS in Abuja, with the theme “Improving Access to Quality Health Care Through Expanded National Health Insurance Coverage.”
He suggested that health insurance deductions be made mandatorily from source for all income earners in the country as health care savings; in addition, he said that desk officers would be deployed to ministries, departments and agencies as well as hospitals as advocates for enrolees to receive their complaints about service under the scheme.
Director-General of the NOA, Garba Abari, on his part, highlighted the urgent need for increased awareness on the scope, benefits and implications of NHIS, noting that recent studies showed that inadequate knowledge about of the scheme was responsible for the unwillingness of low-income earners to subscribe.
EDUCATION: NUC issues provisional licence to 8 new universities
From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The National Universities Commission (NUC) yesterday issued provisional licence to the eight newly approved private universities.
The universities are Anchor University, Ayobo, Lagos State (owned by the Deeper Christian Life Ministry); Arthur Jarvis University, Akpabuyo, Cross River State (owned by Clitter House Nigeria Limited); Clifford University, Owerrinta, Abia State (owned by the Seventh Day Adventist Church); and Coal City University, Enugu, Enugu State (owned by ATCOICOE Nigeria Limited).
Others are Crown-Hill University, Eiyenkorin, Kwara State (owned by Modern Morgy and Sons Limited); Dominican University, Ibadan, Oyo State (owned by the Order of Preachers, Nigeria) Dominican Community; Kola Daisi University, Ibadan, Oyo State (owned the Kola Daisi Foundation); and Legacy University, Okija, Anambra State (owned by the Good Idea Education Foundation).
Presenting the licence at the headquarters of the NUC in Abuja, Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, said: “The eight new universities have brought to 152 the number of universities in Nigeria, though grossly inadequate in relation to demand.”
The minister warned the universities and their proprietors not to cut corners, but insist on standard, even as he reminded them that the licences were revocable.