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JAMB defends remittance of operating surplus, says it is global best practice

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has vowed to continue its practice of remitting its operating surpluses to government, saying that the remittances were in line with global best practice, Dr Fabian Benjamin, Head, Public Affairs of JAMB has said.

In a statement to newsmen in Abuja, on Monday, Benjamin said that the board would continue its practice of remitting the constitutionally-mandated proportion of its operational surpluses, in line with extant government’s directive on the remittances.

According to him, it is a known fact that all unutilised funds by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) should be returned to the public treasury.

He said that the board and public-spirited Nigerians were, therefore, at a loss as to the reasons for the various campaigns of calumny mounted by some individuals who feel that these remittances should not be made.

“The board reiterates that it is not within the powers of MDAs to determine the uses for which the remitted funds are put to.

“Theirs is to comply with extant directive while those given the mandate to manage the national treasury have the responsibility of appropriating and channelling such remittances.

“ This is in the overall interest of the public, to identify areas of need or rather whichever area of the national economy that they perceive to be in most need of resources,” he said.

He added: “ It would be recalled that the humongous remittances are the first in the history of the four-decade-old agency.

“The first landmark remittance was made in 2017 and the feat was repeated in subsequent years, in line with its belief that rules are made to be obeyed and, at any rate, the Board does not believe it should hold onto money that does not belong to it.

“It might interest these armchair critics that a direct fallout of the remittances was the decision of the Federal Government to reduce the cost of the purchase of the e-pin from N5,000 to N3,500, the cheapest globally.

“ It is a truism in policy making that certain trends should be observed over a period of time before policy pronouncements are made.”

He explained that the decision to reduce the price of application documents was contingent upon the observation that even if the price were to be slashed, the board would be able to conduct its examination unhindered.

“In addition, it might also interest the public to know that never in the history of tertiary institutions in Nigeria have the institutions benefited from the Board’s operations as they now do.

“For instance, a huge chunk of these surpluses are ploughed back to the tertiary institutions through the National Tertiary Admissions Performance Merit Award and other platforms.

“ Furthermore, many critical segments of the society, the intellectual community, the civil society groups, among others, have all been included in the management of the Board’s operational processes not only to add value to its service delivery but also to make for inclusiveness.

“All these, which were hitherto impossible, had been made possible as a result of the prudent management of resources which has enabled the Board to prosecute these aspirations,” he added .

He maintained that the cost of obtaining the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination( UTME) or the Direct Entry (DE) e-pin today is the lowest globally, saying that the comparison was not even with developed countries but rather with countries with less per capital income than Nigeria.

Benjamin added that the low cost of obtaining the board’s application documents would be manifest if a comparison was made with similar examinations like IELTS where Nigerians pay as high as N80,000 to enroll.

The public affairs manager said that the present management of the board was determined to continue on the path of giving value for money, even as it continued to seek ways of further pruning down the cost of conducting the Board’s flagship examination.

He said once these innovative measures which had led to these surpluses were institutionalised, the Board would further look at how to enhance the registration process to benefit the candidates and the general public.

“ In as much as the Board is desirous of charging rock-bottom prices for its services, it is also mindful of the fact that a non-existent fee regime would only give room for abuses and confusion.

“ This is as unscrupulous or other unserious elements, who had ulterior motives for obtaining the forms, would want to obtain them to explore opportunities for prosecuting unacceptable acts.

“As an illustration, the huge number of candidates registering for the examination multiple times before the introduction of NIN was partly owing to the fact that it costs them almost nothing, financial or punitive, to register many times.” Benjamin said.

He, therefore, urged the citizens to be mindful of lightweights parading as educational experts who are hell-bent on propagating falsehood to further their miscellaneous ends.

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Metro

Nnamdi Kanu: Imo residents observe sit-at-home for IPOB leader’s trial

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Residents of Imo State, especially Orlu town and Owerri municipal, on Tuesday, stayed indoors to observe the sit-at-home order issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in solidarity with its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who appeared in court today.

It was gathered that the state secretariat, motor parks, schools, banks, shops and markets across the major cities were all shut down.

Even the Imo State University junction, Government House Roundabout, Control Post Roundabout, Warehouse junction Roundabout, Ikenegbu, Mbari, Douglas, Okigwe Road, and Wethedral Roads, were scanty.

In Orlu, the ever-busy Banana junction and Okwudo junction were more like ghost towns.

A journalist, Mr Martin Nwoke, in Owerri North Local Government Area of the state, made a passionate appeal to the Federal Government to release Nnamdi Kanu.

He said Imolites and the people of southeast states were the ones suffering the heat of the order.

Nwoke said, “In this part of the world, everything we do here involves money. I am begging President Buhari to pity us and free Nnamdi Kanu.”

A lawyer, Barr. Emeka Obi, told our correspondent that he could not go to file a court process due to non-availability of transport, while children, who could not go to school, resorted to playing football on the streets at Akwakuma.

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Metro

Plateau monarch abducted

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Barely three weeks after the kidnap of a paramount ruler in Plateau State, the military task force responsible for the maintenance of peace in the state, code-named Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), has confirmed that gunmen have abducted HRH. Da Gyang Balak Gut, the Da Gwom Rwei of Vwang District of Jos South Local Government Area of the state.

The traditional ruler was kidnapped on Sunday night on his way home to Vom, a few metres from the gate of the National Institute For Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru in Jos South LGA.

Recalls that following the abduction of the Sum Pyem, Da Charles Mato Dakat, on the 26th December, 2021, before he was released five days later, the United Mwaghavul Lawyers Association (UMLA) had described the incident as not an attack on an individual, but on the entire traditional institution in Plateau State.

The lawyers equally had said it views the kidnapping of the royal father as not an isolated incident, “but the beginning of a well-orchestrated plan to intimidate and decapitate our treasured leaders in the state and the Middle Belt at large”.

While condemning the dastardly act, on behalf of UMLA, Barr. Philemon Daffi reminded the federal, state and local governments of their shared responsibility under the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Spokesman of OPSH, Major Ishaku Takwa, who confirmed the incident, said, “Troops of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) in conjunction with other security agencies are on trail of the kidnappers.

“God’s willing, the security agencies will soon close-up on the criminals”, he maintained.

Vwang District is where the famous National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom is situated in Plateau State.

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Metro

Suspected cultists arrested with female pant, charms in Delta

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Police operatives attached to the Delta state police command raiders unit, have arrested twenty suspected cultists at a black spot in Ogarafe,  Oghara in Ethiope west LGA of the state.

Confirming the arrest to newsmen, the spokesperson of the state police command, DSP Edafe Bright, said during the raid of the hot spot, a fabricated wooden gun, six hundred and forty-eight wraps of weed suspected to be Indian hemp, one used female pant, various charms, one Knife, Sixteen bottles of codeine, ten packs of razlers, one Grinder used in grinding weeds and the sum of sixty-nine thousand (#69,000) were recovered from the suspect.

He said the suspect will be arraigned in court soon.

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