Restructuring will Take Nigeria from Frying Pan to Fire – JAMB Boss, Prof Oloyede

Prof Ishaq oloyede JAMB Registrar

By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem

The Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Ishaq Oloyede, has said that the urgency for Nigeria to adjust its structure and devolve more powers to the federating units, is overrated.

Speaking in an interactive session with senior journalists, editors and columnists in Lagos, the JAMB boss said the country’s problems are more about the lack of integrity and patriotism on the part of people in positions of authority, and less of structure or the arrangement of the structure.

Fielding questions from participants at the forum on the need to create more examination bodies at the state and local government levels instead of burdening JAMB alone with the responsibility of doing so in such a massive country, Oloyede said the examination body is capable of taking care of the entire country with the reforms he has introduced which emphasize use of technology to conquer distance, time and population.

While some of the participants insisted that the question was provoked by the burning issue of restructuring and true federalism in Nigeria, the Professor of Arabic and Islamic Jurisprudence noted that the country is better left as it is, adding that devolving more powers to the states will create more crises than the country can handle.

He argued that there are too many indecent and irresponsible people in privileged places across the country and if they get more powers, they may set the country on fire.

Oloyede said states have over the years proven to be incapable of managing and sustaining anything.

He gave the example of primary education which the states were once asked to solely manage and which he said they completely destroyed.

“Where do we start from? Is it primary education which the states completely destroyed? President Olusegun Obasanjo had to intervene to rescue the primary education system with the creation of SUBEB (State Universal Basic Education Board).

“What about state universities? Are they funding and managing them well? Do you know that 80 percent of state universities are being funded by TETFund (Tertiary Education Trust Fund)? Even Ogun state where I come from, what is the fate of the state universities and polytechnics?

“I admit that the kind of unitary system we run is not ideal but if we decentralise and give more powers to these people, we will just be moving from frying pan to fire. So we are better off this way for now.

“You talk of creating examination bodies at the federating units, I hear you… so that some governors will start calling exam officers or heads of the bodies to be changing exam scores of some privileged candidates….

“See, I know that it is politically incorrect to speak this way on an issue people are so emotional and sentimental about. I know I will become more popular if I join the restructuring bandwagon and people will like me a lot but the painful and bitter truth must be said at all times and that is our commitment at JAMB at all times, and it is my personal conviction as well,” he concluded.

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  1. You’re wrong, Sir. Although, you’re entitled to your own opinion, I guess you’re saying this because you’re from the North Central. We all know the North don’t like the word ‘restructuring’ for obvious reasons.
    Ironically, what you’re presently doing in JAMB is still a form of restructuring. Whether you call is reform, restructuring, reorganization or rebirth, it all mean the same thing in this context.
    For this country to survive and progress, we definitely need a change! We need to go back to the system we started with. This isn’t the Nigeria our forefathers fought for. We were obviously more progressive then than now, with each region moving at its own pace. This present system is just too expensive, retrogessive and corrupt. With this system, we can never have good people at the helm of affairs.


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