Education

NIGERIA: House Seeks Uniform Cut off Marks in Varsity Admission

The House of Representatives Tuesday asked  the Federal Ministry of Education to prevail on  universities  not to apply arbitrary  cut-off marks for candidates of the recent Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

The House also mandated its Committee on Banking and Currency  to  investigate the  operations  of Union Bank of Nigeria over alleged unwholesome practices.

In the second motion sponsored by Hon. Afamefuna Ogene, the attention of the House was drawn to the alleged  disregard of government’s directive on cut-off marks  for admission into  federal universities in Nigeria.

Ogene said although  the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruquayatu Ahmed Rufa’i, recently  announced the approved cut-off marks for universities as 180 and polytechnics/ Colleges of Education at 150 respectively, in the current 2013/2014 admission exercise in Nigeria, some universities were in breach of the directive.

He said while 180 marks was approved by government, eligibility for post-UTME entrance examination into federal universities and institutions such as  the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), University of Lagos (UNILAG), University of Benin (UNIBEN), Obafemi Awolowo University ( OAU), University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), have pegged theirs cut off points  at 200 and above.

Similarly, he said the Federal University of Technology, Minna and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (UNIZIK), put theirs at 190 and 200 for science courses respectively.

Ogene said unless the government guideline of 180 marks for universities and 150 for polytechnics and colleges of education were strictly adhered to by these federal institutions, many Nigerian youths who scored less than 200 marks, but met the government approved cut-off marks of 180 and 150 respectively,  would  be denied  admission into their chosen tertiary institutions.

The House resolved to  mandate the House Committee on Education to interface with both the Ministry of Education and the authorities of federal universities and allied institutions, with regard to ensuring strict adherence to government policy on education, especially when it is not in conflict with the provisions of the Nigerian constitution.

Meanwhile, the probe by the Committee on Banking and Currency  into the operations of Union Bank followed a motion sponsored by  Hon.  Akpan  Umoh, in which the lawmaker alleged that the tenure of Funke Osibodu as Managing Director was fraught with a lot of malpractices.

Umoh disclosed  that  in spite of all genuine efforts by the government to sanitise the banking sector, the  management of some of the banks engaged in practices that undermined the interest of shareholders and  the goals of the  reforms in the sector.

Umoh said it was ironical that  the Central Bank of Nigeria's intervention in UBN in 2009 was premised on the charges of inadequate liquidity, poor corporate governance and inadequate capital, while some  Chief Executives that came in the course of the reform embarked  on a voyage along the same path of ruin  including  skewed book keeping to create the false impression that the bank was run down.

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