4 October 2017
By Justice Nwafor
The House of Representatives in Tuesday’s plenary presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Lasun, endorsed a resolution to investigate Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, for fixing university cut-off point at 120.
The resolution was reached after debate on the floor of the house where some members demanded that the body should be scrapped while others defended it.
The debate followed a motion moved by a member of the All Progressives Congress from Benue State Mr. Hassan Saleh.
Leading the debate, Saleh stated that while JAMB set 120 points for admission into universities, it set 100 marks for placement into polytechnics or colleges of education.
He described the marks as “ridiculous”, saying many candidates scored higher marks during the last UMTE.
A member from Niger State, Mr. Adamu Chika, said it was strange for an examination body to recommend candidates for admission with 30 per cent score.
“This policy was done to favour some powerful people; let us face the fact. We are all aware that the private universities are not able to get candidates to fill their spaces,” he alleged.
A member from Lagos State, Mrs. Rita Orji, also called for the scrapping of JAMB, saying, “Let JAMB be scrapped if they are becoming irrelevant.”
However, the Chairman, House Committee on Tertiary Education, Mr. Aminu Suleiman, called for caution, advising members not to make comments that could pre-empt the outcome of the investigation.
Another member from Kwara State, Mr. Ahman Pategi, also described as “hasty” a move by members to condemn the policy without first appreciating the factors that could have led to the decision by the stakeholders.
“The people who took this decision are the professionals in the education sector. We are not professionals and we cannot claim to know more than them,” he said.
At the end of the debate, members passed the motion in a majority voice vote.
The Committee on Tertiary Education was directed to look into the matter and report back to the House within four weeks.