The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has explained that it is the responsibility of tertiary institutions to decide and determine their admission cut-off mark and not JAMB as widely believed by candidates.

The Head, Public Affairs and Protocol, JAMB, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, gave the explanation in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

The Board has come under attack following the pegging of admission cut-off marks at 140 for university admissions at the just concluded policy meeting in Abuja.

But in the statement on Monday, Benjamin explained that there was nothing like a uniform minimum national UTME score for tiers of tertiary institutions, neither does JAMB decide any such requirement for any institution for the purposes of admissions.

He said that the lucid process of admission which the former President of the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), Dr Nasir Fagge, expounded and was reported in the media was the exact process being followed in the conduct of admission exercise into tertiary institutions in the country.

He said: “This process has even been improved upon with the elimination of human interference through its full automation with the introduction of the Central Admissions Processing system(CAPS).”

He further explained that, for the purpose of emphasis, JAMB conducted UTME and handed over the results to institutions for the conduct of admissions.

“But before the admission exercise commences, a Policy Meeting is held with all the Heads of the Institutions in attendance and chaired by the Minister of Education.

“At the meeting, the admission guidelines, which include recommendations from individual institutions and their preferred minimum admission scores are presented and deliberated upon at the meeting, and not JAMB which is only a member out of a large number of participants at the meeting.

“But prior to the meeting, more than 50 percent of the universities must have submitted in writing their minimum scores of 200 and above to the Board for presentation and deliberation at the meeting. The same applied for the other tiers of tertiary institutions. The implication of this process is that no institution would be able to admit any candidate with any score below what they had submitted as their minimum score.

“Perhaps, it is also apt to address the series of misconceptions as to what is generally described as ‘uniform minimum national UTME score’ for admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria entails. For some time now, many candidates and some members of the public have been under the erroneous impression that there is a minimum national UTME score set by the Board, which they also refer to as cut-off point.

“The truth is that there is nothing like a national minimum UTME score for all Universities, Polytechnics or Colleges of Education in Nigeria. It’s only individual institutions that set their minimum entry scores based on their peculiarities. JAMB has no role whatsoever in the decision of the institutions to determine how or with what criteria they want to admit. The role of JAMB is to ensure that the goalpost is not shifted in the middle of the game.
“Candidates must also know that UTME score is not the sole determinant of placement of candidates into tertiary institutions. As such, the undue attention to the so-called UTME cut-off point is a major conception of many ill-informed candidates who assumed that they have finally attained the benchmark having achieved the so-called minimum national score or cut-off point for admission.

“It is, therefore, a double jeopardy for many candidates who subscribed to the popular myth of a uniform UTME score for all Universities, Polytechnics or Colleges of Education in Nigeria. The myth incorporates the erroneous impression that it is only the UTME score that constitutes the benchmark for admission. This is far from the truth, hence, such candidates on attainment of particular grades in the UTME celebrate in advance of their imminent placement in their institutions of choice, which in reality may not come to pass at the end of the day,” the statement said.