Fred Ezeh, Abuja

The Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, has suggested that an embargo be placed on the establishment of new universities and other tertiary institutions in Nigeria, pending when the existing ones receive adequate financial and logistical support.

He suggested that funds that would have been channeled in establishing such new tertiary institutions should be used to provide infrastructures, train manpower, and strengthen the capacity of the existing institutions for improved impact.

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He based his suggestion on the 2017 presidential retreat on education which recommended a declaration of state of emergency in the education sector, and advocated increased funding by at least 15 percent of annual budget or above to the sector.

Oloyede, who spoke at the fourth convocation lecture of Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State, at the weekend, said that evidence confirm that Nigerian universities are being established by “rich persons” to boast their image and not to provide needed educational services to ordinary Nigerians.

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“A situation where universities are established to massage the ego of rich individuals and politicians is not healthy for educational development of Nigeria, because tertiary institutions are too crucial and precious to be reduced to commercial outfit or ego tripping venture,” the JAMB Registrar said.

He challenged private individuals and corporate organisations to complement government efforts at strengthening the education system and not to establish private institutions for political reasons.

Meanwhile, Oloyede highlighted that success of 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) was based on continuous review of previous experiences and introduction of innovations that strengthened the credibility of the system.

“These includes elimination of scratch card, creation of candidates’ profile through text messages to eliminate error in name, introduction of CCTV, enhanced participation of stakeholders, Computer Based Test (CBT) centres monitoring, testing and capturing of candidates’ biometrics, amongst others.