JAMB uncovers 3,000 fake graduates

JAMB registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede.

In furtherance to its efforts at purging the Nigerian educational system, the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board has raised an alarm, saying it had uncovered 3,000 fake graduates in possession of illegal certificates across the country.

The Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, who made this known in a report published in the board’s bulletin, said those involved were discovered to have never set foot within the four walls of a classroom.

Oloyede during a meeting with the delegation of the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of State Universities in Nigeria (COPSUN) in his office, at the National Headquarters, Bwari, Abuja, also condemned the act of illegal admissions by some institutions.

According to him, illegal admissions have remained a source of embarrassment to the country.

“Some ‘graduates’ had never entered the four walls of a university owing to the endemic corruption in the system but the board had documented over 3,000 of such cases.

“Illegal admission of candidates into tertiary institutions in the country is an embarrassment and a disservice to the nation,” the bulletin read.

The registrar, therefore, charged COPSUN to ensure that they clamp down on underhand admissions, which is not only detrimental to the system but is also disadvantageous to the image of the country.

The development comes on the heels of the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education, in December 2023, ordering the Board to present a list of tertiary institutions that had conducted irregular and illegal admissions.

The examination body had earlier warned candidates to desist from accepting admissions offered by such institutions without full academic participation.

In the statement titled, “Cessation of illegal/irregular admission,” JAMB reiterated that all applications of admissions to first degree, national diploma, national innovation diploma and the Nigeria certificate in education into full-time, distance learning, part-time, outreach, sandwich, etc, must be processed only through JAMB.

Last year, JAMB gave tips on how to spot illegal admission.

While speaking during the 3rd matriculation ceremony of the Thomas Adewumi University (TAU) Oko, Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, Oloyede said any admission not captured in its Central Admission Processing System (CAPS) is illegal, null and void.

According to him, “For any admission into tertiary institutions, it has to be done through CAPS which is on the JAMB portal.

“Any admission whatsoever that is outside the CAPS irrespective of the institution is illegal. And I think this point is very important,” said Prof Oloyede who was represented by Mr Ganiyu Yahaya, an Assistant Director of JAMB told the 171 matriculants at the programme.

This is as the Board also said any candidate who chooses to get an underhand admission would face the consequences.

The Board reiterated that all tertiary institutions’ admissions must be processed through it.

The admonition contained in a post on its official X handle, came as a response to a user who asked the board to improve the admission regularisation process.

Adenkule Adu @adu_adenkunke1 had urged JAMB to include in its portal a better channel to get regularization done without visiting the office.

@adu_adenkunke1 complained that he has been patronising the office in his state for months but kept getting excuses.

“It is high time JAMB improved the admission regularisation process.

“JAMB should include in its portal a better channel to get this done without visiting the office.

“I’ve been patronising the office in my state for months now, they kept giving me excuses,” he wrote.

However, JAMB replied that the admonition should rather be to stop the exercise (regularisation) in its entirety.

JAMB wrote: “The admonition should rather be to stop the exercise in its entirety.

“The policy is clear, ‘all tertiary institutions admission must be processed through JAMB… ‘As such, any candidate that chooses to get an underhand admission should face the consequences’.

“How would you be involved in illegality and still get effrontery to offer advice on how the correction process should be carried out? Be guided.”

It would be recalled that Oloyede in 2021, raised an alarm, and warned against offering admissions to applicants by higher institutions outside the Central Admission Processing System (CAPS).

JAMB said apart from distorting the statistics of enrollment into the nation’s tertiary institutions which it noted is required for national planning and development strategies, the conduct is also “a violation of ministerial directive on education policy.”

The JAMB registrar, Is-haq Oloyede, who said this at a stakeholders’ forum in Abuja, noted that in spite of the constant warning against such conduct, Nigerian tertiary institutions offered a total of 706,189 ‘illegal’ admissions across universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and mono-technics between 2017 and 2020.

According to Mr Oloyede, a total of 114 degree-awarding institutions including universities and colleges of education that are affiliated with them conducted 67,795 ‘illegal’ admissions within the period.

He added that a total of 137 National Diploma (ND) certificates awarding institutions such as polytechnics and schools of health technologies offered a total of 142,818 ‘illegal’ admissions within the three years, while 37 institutions that are categorised as mono-technics offered 5,678 ‘illegal’ admissions.

The JAMB registrar said; “In 2017, the Board introduced the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS) as a flowchart to ensure quality control, transparency and credibility of admissions. Among other reasons, it was also meant to completely eliminate human interference, which invariably led to abuse, in the processing of admissions into the nation’s tertiary institutions. The system allows institutions to only admit candidates that meet the requirements as prescribed by individual institutional proprietors and academic Boards/ Senates. The process entails: initiation of the admission of a candidate by the institutional admissions officer after having confirmed the satisfaction of the set criteria; recommendation of the candidate by the head of the institution; approval of the admission by JAMB; acceptance of the admission by the candidate; and printing of the admission letter by the candidate.

“All these are done without hassles or encumbrances. Any process outside this scheme is illegitimate and it renders the admission process null, void and ultra vires. It is rather disappointing that some institutions continue to defy this decision of the National Policy Meeting, ably chaired by the Honourable Minister of Education, that CAPS is the only platform for processing admissions to the tertiary institutions in Nigeria.”

Biggest Culprits

According to Oloyede’s presentation, the top five universities with the highest number of ‘illegal’ admissions offered within the period are the Universities of Jos, Plateau State with 7,600 cases; Benue State University, Makurdi with 6,161 cases; Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, with 5,669 cases; Kwara State University, Malete with 4,281 cases and Novena University, Delta State with 3,432 cases.

Among the ND certificate awarding institutions, the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, topped the chart with a total of 45,471 cases within three years, and it is closely followed by Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State, with 37,828 cases and Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, with 30,856 cases within the same period.

Others are the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State and the Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa, Nasarawa State with 24,335 and 24,335 respectively.