He was a Vice-Chancellor at the University of Ilorin in Kwara State for five years. But, it is now that he is the incumbent Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), that Professor Ishaq Oloyede is regularly getting superlative reviews on both the traditional and social media circuit.
The erudite Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence has received flurry of effusive adulations, instead of sneering condemnations, since President Muhammadu Buhari tasked him with the exigent assignment of ‘individually’ sanitizing the tertiary institutions’ admission processing agency.
Unlike other political appointments, not even a iota of skepticism greeted the announcement of Prof. Oloyede’s name as Prof. Dibo Ojerinde’s successor in August 2016. A cloud of cynicism (regarding his anticipated performance) also did not hover around the early days of his merited and fitting appointment—as many attested to his versatility in scholarship, extraordinary administrative pedigree and flawless managerial competence.
Little wonder, under Prof. Oloyede’s pragmatic and exemplary stewardship as JAMB’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the board has recorded many exceptional landmark achievements and incredible watersheds. The former UNILORIN VC has outstandingly re-organized the board’s administrative processes, which are aimed at repositioning the agency for optimal service delivery to the general public.
He has also revolutionized the Federal Government’s establishment, hence making it a shining model for others to borrow a leaf from. In contrast to what obtains before, the JAMB shepherded by Prof. Oloyede is now a revenue-generating and money-spinning outfit.
In 2017, the body, under the purposeful and innovative leadership of Prof. Oloyede, raked in a whooping sum of N12 billion as revenue, and remitted N7.8 billion naira to federal government, after deducting its expenses. Unfortunately, a paltry N52 million was what the board had remitted to FG in 40 years, prior to Prof. Oloyede’s emergence as Registrar.
According to a PREMIUM TIMES report last year, the total amount JAMB remitted to FG coffers between 2010 and 2016 is N50,752,544, which is just one percent of N7.8 billion the agency remitted to the government in 2017 alone. The remittances between 2010 and 2017 were contained in a document by the office of the Accountant General in response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism.
The accountant general’s office disclosed that N11,522,808 was remitted in 2011; N25,303,274 was remitted in 2013 and N13,926,462 was remitted in 2014. There was no remittance in 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2016, said Bakari Wadinga, a staff at the accountant general’s office.
Meanwhile, the Prof. Oloyede piloted JAMB subsequently remitted additional billions into government coffers in 2018. That the board now annually remits humongous revenue shows that it has succeeded in blocking all loopholes, while checking unnecessary wastages. The erstwhile UNILORIN Vice-Chancellor has equally blazed the trail in championing critical reforms in the processes of conducting UTMEs and offering of admissions into various higher institutions. Immediately after assuming office in 2016, the JAMB helmsman introduced the Central Admissions Processing Systems (CAPS) to restore the autonomy of higher institutions. CAPS, as an administrative policy, seeks to ensure that candidates are fairly treated. It also allows for the expansion admission opportunities, as well as protect schools’ academic calendar.
Indeed, the new face of JAMB spearheaded by Prof. Oloyede has expanded the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) monitoring teams and deployed hi-tech methodology in checking examination malpractices. At the moment, all the Computer-Based Test (CBT) Centres in the country have been standardized in terms of capacity, equipment, materials, competent human resources and security appliances including Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system.
Just before the conduct of the 2017 UTME, the JAMB CBT Centres, which are located in 15 towns across 14 states and the FCT were upgraded from 120 to 250 capacity, and from 200 to 250 seating-capacity.
This is in line with the Body’s fundamental objective of providing standard examination environment for all candidates irrespective of their location, while preventing the exploitation of prospective UTME candidates (who register at cafes) by cyber-cafes operators.
Also, the board has since evolved means to check unscrupulous activities of candidates who do multiple registrations by deliberately writing their names wrongly with the intention to claim the result of the one with the highest score and thereafter demand correction of the name, claiming that the fault is not theirs. To check malpractice and ameliorate stress on candidates, JAMB has successfully automated its vital services such as late registration, change of course/institution, printing of admission letter, printing of result slip and correction of data. Hence, their services are now rendered online. The logic behind the aforementioned innovation is to eliminate time wastage and stress in travelling to Bwari, the Board’s Headquarters in Abuja—so as to complete any of the operation.
Sanity, has actually and tremendously, been deployed into the operations of JAMB, as evidenced in the migration from Scratch Card to virtual (soft) transactions. After abandoning the manual procedure of registration, JAMB now accepts payment for its essential services direct into the Treasury Single Account (TSA) through web payment, online Quick-Teller, ATM payment, Quick-Teller mobile application and Bank branch. Apart from curbing fraudulent practices occasioned by Scratch Card racketing, the e-transactions have also saved the 30% (of sale) which use to be paid as commission to service providers that generate the PINS and print the scratch cards.
The revolutions taking place at JAMB, and gallantly midwifed by Prof. Oloyede, may be silent, yet they are groundbreaking. The JAMB of today, unlike previous epochs, has witnessed many ‘beautiful’ moments of unmatched accomplishments. But perhaps, the ‘finest hour’ awaiting the Board is when it will begin to rake in trillions (as revenue), as a result of the anticipated increase in the number of UTME candidates, following a presidential directive slashing the JAMB registration fee to N3,500 from N5,000.
Mahmud writes from Abuja