WHEN General Olusegun Obasanjo (80) established the Joint
Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, on February 13,
1978 through amended decree 2 of 1978, Colonel Ahmadu
Adah Alli (81) was the Minister for Education
The Gbobe born soldier turned politician from Igala tribe in
Kogi state later handed over to the Ogoni activist, Dr. Garrick
B. Leton (1933-2003). These two men pioneered JAMB.
The management of JAMB both past and present hold these
two a debt of gratitude for the take off of the board.
The Board expanded its scope from limited University
Admission to other tertiary Institutions with amended decree
33 of 1989 by General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida(75) who
later appointed Professor Jubrin Muhammed Aminu (78) as
Minister for Education. It was the during the tenure of
Professor Jubrin Aminu that JAMB became actively functional.
His coordination of JAMB at that time as a Minister between
1985 and 1989, was more pronounced than when he became
Petroleum Minister between 1989 and 1992 and Nigeria’s
Ambassador to America between 1999 and 2003.
General Babangida poured a lot of money and attention into
JAMB such that people at that time felt he was pursuing an
ethnic agenda. Vice-Chancellors were constantly at war with
him. No doubt JAMB came more alive during the era of
General Babangida. Professor Aminu who later became
Senator served between 2003 and 2011 for Adamawa Central,
later handed over to Professor Babatunde Aliu Fafunwa
The main purpose for the establishment of the board by the
two Generals was for the unity of the country. Before JAMB
was established, there were no private universities and there
were complaints by the parents over admission policies of the
government owned Universities. Since 1978, various Registrars
have served on the board as Chief Executives. They are Mr.
M.S. Angulu, 1977 to 1986, Dr. Mohammed S. Abdulrahman,
1986 to 1996, Professor Bello Ahmed Salim, 1996 to 2006,
Professor Adedibu Ojerinde, from Igboho in Oyo State, 2006 to
2016, Professor Is-haq Olanrenwaju Oloyede,(63)
OFR,FNAL,2016 to date.
The JAMB was designed to among other things,(a) conduct
Matriculation Examination for entry into all Universities,
Polytechnics, and Colleges of Education (by whatever name
called ) in Nigeria (b) appoint Examiners, Moderators,
Invigilators, members of the Subject Panels and committees
and other persons with respect to matriculation examinations
and any other matters incidental thereto or connected
therewith (c) place suitably qualified candidates in the tertiary
institutions after having taken into account: (i) the vacancies
available in each tertiary institution (ii) the guidelines approved
for each tertiary institution by its proprietors or other
competent authorities (iii) the preferences expressed or
otherwise indicated by the candidates for certain tertiary
institutions and courses. (iv) such other matters as the Board
may be directed by the Honourable Minister to consider or the
Board itself may consider appropriate in the circumstances (d)
collate and disseminate information on all matters relating to
admissions into tertiary institutions or any other matter
relevant to the discharge of functions of the board.
I am sure millions of Nigerian students have benefited from
the Admission policy of JAMB.
When Professor Oloyede (63) was appointed Chief Executive
and Registrar of JAMB last August, I called a close friend to
inquire if it was the same Professor Oloyede of the University
of Ilorin, he replied in the affirmative.
I asked that question because of the two profiles of Professor
Oloyede. First because of his position as Secretary General of
the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs which was
established in 1975 and his anti-corruption crusade while
serving as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin and the
way he transformed that University. Professor Oloyede took
over as the Secretary General of the Council in succession to
Dr. Oladimeji Abdul lateef Adegbite (1938-2012) who was the
late Seriki of Egbaland and the Baba Adinni of Egba Muslims
in Ogun state.
Professor Oloyede, who is from Abeokuta in Ogun State and
whom I knew through a friend and colleague, Alhaji Nojeem
Jimoh, former Editor of THE PUNCH, once described his late
father as “the poorest of the landlords” in Akoka, Lagos.
I knew there would be attacks on Professor Oloyede, on his
policies and his style of Management.
Hear him: “On assumption of duty in August, it was obvious
that I had to change the system for good; I chose to improve
on what my illustrious predecessors had done. I wasn’t
unaware of the cost of change in our society. The introduction
of CBT posed and still poses its own new challenges
especially with respect to our digital limitations in Africa.
Those who found the innovation revolutionary were things
appear difficult. Besides those who benefited from the old
order of the Pencil and Paper test, PPT, waged war in forms of
protests and media onslaughts at the beginning.
Then, others exploited the new CBT system to engage in
conduct unbecoming at the expense of the Nigerian nation.
When some of these issues were put on the table, it was
realised that there was an urgent need for reforms of the CBT
system to address prevailing lapses. The challenges that would
come from such reforms were not new to me because in
2007/2008 session, it was the University of Ilorin that
introduced the CBT to test large numbers of undergraduates
students and also screened thousands of the prospective
candidates, I was the Vice-Chancellor and I knew well the
SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)
associated with innovations.
Indeed. It was the University of Ilorin that provided JAMB with
the Marshal Plan for the commencement of CBT in 2013, in
line with the University of Ilorin pattern. Therefore I came to
JAMB with 10 years’ experience of managing CBT
examination. Even with the level of technical advancement in
Nigeria, we need to make room for improvement in our
In my resolve for far reaching reforms in the development of
the sub sector of education, I announced a five-point-agenda
to address the challenges in the system. The Agenda centred
on five key areas I felt needed the most attention in the
agency. They are Workers’ Welfare, Discipline, Technology,
Transparency and Networking. It is my firm understanding that
achieving these five critical goals will lead to the repositioning
of the Board to meet the desire of Nigerians.
To ensure proper conduct of the 2017 examinations, the Board
resolved that certain conditions and standards must be in
place before the commencement of the sale of its application.
In view of this resolution, we reviewed some of our processes.
The review took particular notice that CBT is an evolving
phenomenon in JAMB. Some of the critics of the system fail
to recognise that this is the 3rd year of the JAMB-CBT in
Nigeria. We cannot move beyond what our current level of
The best way to stop the attacks and criticisms is for
Professor Oloyede to transform JAMB to present day
modernity. If he succeeds his critics will not count or be
remembered but if he fails his critics will become heroes. It is
up to him.
As Oloyede Demystifies JAMB’s UTME/ CBT Puzzle
Nigerians should shout aloud, with thumps up in the air for
Professor Is-haq Oloyede, the current Registrar of the Joint
Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB). I say everybody
should shout loud praises to him. Wait a minute! Why am I
sounding like an incensed Pentecostal Pastor, whose tithe
May 29, 2017
Malpractice: More Than 10,000 Candidates Caught In
Anambra, Says JAMB
The Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) says more
than 10,000 candidates caught for examination malpractices
in the on-going UTME in Anambra have been handed over to
May 20, 2017
WHEN General Olusegun Obasanjo (80) established the Joint