The Federal Government on Wednesday announced a reduction in the cost of application form for the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board from N5,000 to N3,500.
JAMB conducts the Unified Tertiary Examinations, the basic exams taken by higher institution admission seekers in the country.
A similar slash was announced for the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination from N11,350 to N9,850
The SSCE is conducted by the National Examination Council.
The decisions were taken at Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting, which was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja.
The Minister of Education, Prof. Adamu Adamu, who broke the news to State House correspondents soon after the FEC meeting rose, said the government reacted to the complaints and pleas by parents in slashing the application fees.
The minister said, “Since the new administration came into office and a change in management and prudent management by JAMB, we have been able to see that most of what has been charged doesn’t have to be because a lot of it has been siphoned by corrupt officials.
“So, in answer to the yearnings by parents, Mr President directed that we should look into the possibility of reducing the charges.
“So, accordingly, from January 2019, JAMB fees will be from N5,000 to N3,500 for the UTME, Senior Secondary Certificate charged by NECO) from 11,350 to N9,850 and Basic Education Certificate handled by NECO is reduced from N5,500 to N4,000.
“As I said, our concern is not to make money as such, we are not a revenue generating agency. Since we found that JAMB has been able to bring into government coffers about N8bn, we said we should reduce the burden on parents.”
When asked whether the government was using the reduction as a campaign tool ahead of the 2019 polls, the minister replied, “A good thing doesn’t have to have a reason. Whether it is because of election or not, I think parents deserve to have the fees reduced.”