Chris Steven, Abuja
Barely 24 hours after the postponement of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination mock examination by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, the Nigerian Education Integrity Group, NEIG has raised the alarm that there were “invisible hands and powerful forces” desperately working to frustrate the positive reforms being put in place by the Registrar of the Board ,Is-haq Oloyede.
The NEIG in a statement by its Director of Operations, Obafemi Amzat and Legal Adviser, Ms. Elizabeth Coker, obtained by journalists in Abuja, called on Nigerians to “pray for Oloyede because the powerful forces and invisible hands have been working round the clock to frustrate and paint him in bad light.”
“Our findings showed that Oloyede is stubborn to a fault especially when it comes to saving government resources. He has challenged anybody that cares to investigate the resources in JAMB and compare with the services that are on going.
“Staff have also complained of his blockage of all loopholes through which they use to survive. However, some staff said they like the way the funds of JAMB are being managed”, the NEIG stressed.
The organisation said that since assumption of duty, Oloyede has blocked so many multi-billion Naira businesses involving very powerful interests through which public funds were being siphoned.
According to the NEIG, Oloyede has saved billions for JAMB in his anti-corruption and cost saving drive.
Amzat said, “For example, information gathered from our investigation showed that some service providers who were paid over N1 billion for certain services are now offering the same services for N50 million or less. We were reliably informed that Oloyede had told all the service providers that what they are being paid is far above the services they are rendering and, as such, he will not sustain such mindless wastages.
“The JAMB Registrar said he is not going to change any of the service providers as he does not know any contractor or have one as a friend, but will not pay what he knows is not fair to government and the nation. Before the management and other stakeholders, he told all contractors and service providers to charge fair prices as nobody will ask them for kick backs as long as he remains the Registrar. This was his offence.
“This, we gathered, was the beginning of the fight as the interest groups are bent on ensuring that he does not succeed in JAMB. They want to return to the era of piling the board’s resources.”
Amzat said independent findings from the Finance Department of JAMB, revealed that before the commencement of sale, its Treasury Single Account reflected billions unlike in the past when at such periods, the board would have being borrowing money from commercial banks to render essential services.
“Oloyede told us that the Federal Government is aware of the enormous responsibility associated with being the Registrar and CEO of an organisation like JAMB and he will do everything to ensure that the confidence reposed in him is justified.
He said he is never known for excuse and cannot start now. While expressing regrets for what happened with the UTME mock examination, Oloyede restated his resolve to deliver the best examination with minimal expenditures and save funds to be used by government in addressing challenges in other sectors”, Amzat emphasised.
In her contribution, Coker said the people complaining about the hardline posture of Oloyede were the people “who benefited from the old order and they are few not all.”
“At least, the JAMB staff assignment allowances are paid on time and higher than before without any unnecessary deductions as you dare not try it. Staff with medical conditions which require funds beyond their ability are paid 100 per cent”, she stated.