UTME 2013 to Hold as Scheduled – JAMB0
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has said the 2013 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) will hold as scheduled on April 27, 2013.
JAMB’s statement came on the heels of the endorsement given by the House of Representatives to the federal government for its decision to cancel UTME, scrap the National Examinations Council (NECO) and National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), among other agencies, in a move aimed at streamlining the public sector and reducing the cost of governance.
A source in the presidency had explained on Tuesday that the overhaul of the public sector was in line with the recommendations of the Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals and Commissions led by former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Steve Oronsaye.
The committee, which was set up to reduce the size of the public sector, had in the executive summary of the 110-page document, recommended the scrapping of 38 agencies, the merger of 52 and reversal of 14 to departments in existing ministries.
The presidency source had explained that President Goodluck Jonathan took the decision to shut down NECO and NAPEP, among other agencies, after consideration of the White Paper on the Oronsaye report.
In the case of UTME, the federal government decided to decentralise the conduct of entrance examinations to universities and other tertiary institutions through the planned reorganisation of JAMB.
Meanwhile, JAMB said its clarification was necessary in the light of newspaper reports that the federal government had scrapped the board (JAMB), alongside NECO and other agencies.
JAMB, in a statement issued by its Public Relations Officer, Mr. Fabian Benjamin, said arrangements had been concluded for the 2013 examinations which would hold in designated centres across the 36 states and the FCT.
The board wishes to state that as a responsible and responsive organisation it is not averred to innovation, changes and government policies skewed to improve the lot of the sector, but reiterates that it has not changed the date of 2013 UTME.
Consequently, candidates are informed that the board’s 2013 UTME slated for April 27 will take place as scheduled. And the dates for the Computer Based Test (CBT) will also be communicated to candidates’ soon.
However, the House of Representatives yesterday threw its weight behind the scrapping and merger of some federal government agencies considered to have similar responsibilities and are a drain on public resources.
It has, nonetheless, faulted the procedure and advised the government to take urgent steps to legalise its action by sending appropriate bills to the National Assembly to amend or repeal the relevant laws that established the relevant agencies.
Chairman, House Committee on Public Service Matters, Hon. Andrew Uchendu, gave this view Wednesday while reacting to the scrapping of NECO and NAPEP, as well as the cancellation of UTME.
Uchendu said while it was important for the government to review the performance and relevance of its agencies periodically, such action must be done in accordance with the law.
“It is not enough to simply give approval to scrap some agencies or merge existing institutions. The government should ensure that the relevant Acts that established these agencies are amended or else it will be seen as an illegality.
“There are definitely some agencies whose functions overlap with the functions of other agencies. These are duplications that should be addressed but it should be done within the confines of the law.
“In the present case, the federal government has taken action without consulting the National Assembly. Some of these agencies were established by Acts of the parliament and any alteration to their status should be done through the National Assembly,” Uchendu said.
On the other recommendations of the Oronsaye report that have not been implemented, Uchendu urged the federal government to endeavour to sustain the efforts and ensure that all necessary actions are taken to reform the public service in the country.
The erstwhile Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Education, Hon. Farouk Lawan, also endorsed the scrapping of NECO, NAPEP and cancellation of UTME by the government.
Lawan said for several years, Nigerian students had been subjected to too many examinations but the country had not achieved much from these examinations in terms of quality education.
He said the government’s action was in order if only it would address the challenge of restoring quality and credibility to the education sector.
He said that it was only in Nigeria that candidates seeking admission to tertiary institutions faced as many as four examinations, namely the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC); another SSCE conducted by the National Examinations Council (NECO); UTME; and the Post University Matriculation Examination (Post-UME) conducted by individual universities.
Source: ThisDay Newspaper