Before the establishment of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) in 1978, the only seven universities owned by the federal government of Nigeria at the time conducted their entrance examination and solely determined who was qualified.
JAMB is one of the agencies of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Education. It’s one of the most active in the education ministry.
The concessional examination used by the federal universities was not unified, the admission committee of such institutions use criteria they deemed fit to admit students into the various degree programme.
The system showed that there were limitations and waste of resources by the various universities on the part of the admission seekers.
By 1976, the military regime of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo created six additional universities and the existing problems regarding admission were compounded.
How JAMB Came About
To solve the issues of admission, the military government through the Ministry of Education inaugurated a national committee on university entrance.
Nigeria’s Minister of Education at the time Col. Ahmadu Alli announced the committee member, Mr. Michael Saidu Angulu was made the chairman.
After their sittings, the committee recommended the setting up of two bodies: 1) the Central Admissions Board, 2) the Joint Matriculation Board.
The government which accepted some of the recommendations of the committee came up with the name, “Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board” and JAMB was birthed through a Decree now an Act (no. 2 of 1978) on February 13, 1978.
At inception, JAMB’s scope was limited to conducting exams for universities but there was a policy change in the 1980s.
Expansion of JAMB Mandate
The military regime of Gen. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) expanded the mandates of the examination body in August 1988 by amending the decree No. 2 of 1978.
No. 33 of 1989 (which took effect on December 7, 1989) empowers the Board not only conduct to universities, but to conduct matriculation examinations for admission seekers into all polytechnics, colleges of education, and other higher institutions of learning in Nigeria.
By this time, Dr. Mohammed S. Abdulrahman had been appointed as the registrar while Prof. Jubril Aminu was the Minister of Education at the time.
Core Mandate of JAMB
Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board through its various departments is saddled to carry out the following functions:
1) To place suitably qualified candidates in the available places in all Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education and other Nigerian higher institutions.
2) To appoint Examiners, Moderators, Invigilators for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
3) To take into account the available vacancies and guidelines of universities before placing suitably qualified candidates in the tertiary institutions
4) To collate and disseminate information on all matters relating to admissions into tertiary institutions.
5) To give approval for a company or institution that meet the guidelines of being certified as Computer Based Test (CBT).
6) To sanction erring CBT centres across Nigeria that engage in malpractice.
JAMB is headed by a registrar who is also called the CEO and assisted by heads of departments. The incumbent head of JAMB is Prof. Is-haq Olanrewaju Oloyede.
He is the registrar and the Chief Executive Officer of JAMB. Oloyede was appointed the registrar of JAMB in August 2016. He was re-appointed for another five-year term in August 2021 by Muhammadu Buhari.
There are 12 departments in Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB), they are:
- Admissions Department
- Test Development Department
- Quality Assurance Department
- Psychometrics Department
- General Services Department
- Test Administration Department
- Finance And Account Department
- Audit Department
- Special Duties Department
- Legal Department
- Human Resources Department
- Information Technology Services Department
Each of the departments is headed a director. The directors help the registrar in achieving the goals of the examination body.
The directors of the departments report directly to the registrar while the registrar in turn report to the Minister of Education
The governing board of JAMB is headed by Dr. Emmanuel Ndukwe. Members of the board are: Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun , Prof. Ibiyinka A. Fuwape, Prof. Richard Anande Kimbir , Prof. Mukhtar Atiku Kurawa, Professor Abubakar Musa Kundiri, and Prof. Uba Ahmad Ali
Former and Incumbent JAMB Registrars
Since the formation JAMB on February 13, 1978, the unified examination body’s affairs has been controlled by five registrars from 1978 till date.
The JAMB registrar who is also called the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) controls the affairs of the body and holds meetings with Vice-Chancellors or registrars of higher institutions in Nigeria.
|Former JAMB registrars||Year in Office|
|Mr. Michael Saidu Angulu||1978 – 1986|
|Dr. Mohammed S. Abdulrahman||1986 – 1996|
|Professor Bello Ahmed Salim||1996 – 2006|
|Professor Adedibu Ojerinde||2006 – 2016|
|Professor Is-haq O. Oloyede||2016 till date (till 2026)|
Introduction of Computer Based Test into JAMB
Until 2013, JAMB exams were Pencil and Paper Test (PPT). It was easy for officials of the examination body to manipulate and under-declare the number of UTME forms that were sold.
Corruption was the order of the day, but by 2013, after critically studying the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) CBT format, JAMB had its first CBT across Nigeria.
Prof. Adedibu Ojerinde was JAMB CEO at the time while Prof. Oloyede was the Vice-Chancellor of UNILORIN (the inventor of CBT into UNILORIN).
Technological advancement motivated the JAMB to adopt a Computer Based Test or CBT. As such, various CBT centres were certified across Nigeria.
Challenges of CBT
Oloyede who succeeded Ojerinde brought into JAMB several years of experience in conducting CBT. Oloyede can simply be described as the real reformer in the examination body once famous for its hardened corruption and ineptitude
On assumption of office August 2006, he discovered that some accredited CBT centres were manipulating the system and other challenges.
He was quoted as saying:
“The introduction of CBT posed and still poses its own new challenges, especially with respect to our digital limitations in Africa. Those who found the innovation revolutionary were things appear difficult. Besides those who benefited from the old order of the Pencil and Paper test, PPT, waged war in forms of protests and media onslaughts at the beginning.”
Oloyede who deployed his field marshals found some centres culpable of extortion and other activities that violate the setting up of CBT centres.
In 2019, TheGuardian reported that 14 CBT centres were deregistered for fraud; in 2021, 25 CBT centres were delisted, according to Premium Times Nigeria; in 2022 some centres were handed a severe warning for poor conduct.
Accredited JAMB CBT Centres in Nigeria
Today, approval for CBT centres is strict. CBT centres that passed through JAMB screening are saddled with the responsibility of handling candidates’ registration and sitting for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
At the time of publication, there are 784 CBT centres that meet JAMB strict guidelines are spread across all 36 states including the FCT. You can find the centres in each of the states below
JAMB State Offices
JAMB has presence in all states and the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria. It is headquartered at Bwari, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Nigeria’s administrative capital.
Below is a list of JAMB state offices and annexes across Nigeria
|Lagos (Annex)||11 Ojora Road, Ikoyi, Lagos
Phone no: 07005262954
|Kaduna (Annex)||79, Tafawa Balewa Way, Kaduna
Phone no: 07005262953
|Kwara (Annex)||Oyun Area II, Orin, Ilorin
|Abuja (Zonal Office)||19 Karaye Street, Off Amurie Omanze Street,
Off Ladoke Akintola Boulevard, Garki, Abuja
|Abuja (Registrar’s Liaison Office)||4B254-6/264-8, 2nd Floor, Annex II
Federal Secretariat Complex,
Shehu Shagari Way, Abuja.
|Edo (Zonal)||Plot 21B, Ikpokpan Road, G.R.A,
Benin City, Edo State.
|Taraba||Former Teacher’s College Quaters, Jalingo
Phone no: 07005262827
|Yobe||No. 15, Commissioner’s Quaters,
|Gombe||Within Ministry of Education Headquaters,
Doctor’s Flats, Buhari Housing Estate,Gombe
|Adamawa||Former Ministry Of Education,
Sir Kashim Ibrahim Way, Jimeta-Yola,
Phone no: 07005262232
|Bauchi (Zonal)||Off Ahmodu Bello Way,
Opposite State Treasury, Bauchi,
|Kano (Zonal)||Rumfa College, B.U.K Road,
|Nasarawa (Zonal)||Former Nasarawa Newsday,
Adjacent TAAL e-Library,
Old Tomato Market Road, Lafia
|Enugu (Zonal)||No. 22, Annong Street,
Ogui New Layout,
Off Nkpotiki Junction.
|Oyo (Zonal)||Quarters 845, Agodi G.R.A.
Opposite Ikoloba Grammar School,
Agodi Post Office, Ibadan
|Borno (Zonal)||No. 34, Opposite Eagle Round-About,
Near Government House
|FCT Zonal Office||NO. 19 Karaye Street,
After Old CBN Garki
|FCT CBT Centre||Kogo, Bwari – Abuja
|Rivers (Zonal)||No 10. Aba Road, Opposite Abali Park,
|Cross River (Zonal office)||41, Okoro Agbor Street, Off Marian, Calabar|
|Sokoto (Zonal)||3rd Floor, Block 19,
Shehu kangiwa secretariat,
|Jigawa (State )||Mechanics Village,
Plot No 269/270,
Off Bye-Pass road, Dutse
|Katsina (State office)||Mohammed Dikko Road,Opposite KCK Kofar Sauri,
|Zamfara (State office)||No 8 Sokoto Road,
Opposite Wambai House,
|Kebbi (State office)||No 1 Justice Usman Mohammed Road Tudun Wada,
|Sokoto (Zonal office)||3rd Floor, Block 19,
Shehu kangiwa secretariat,
|Kogi (State office)||GP 574, Salau Alima Housing Estate,
Phase II, Lokoja
|Plateau||No. 56, Murtala Mohammed Way,
|Benue (Zonal)||Abu King Shuluwa Road,
|Niger||Plot 2, (3 Arm Zone) Along Eastern Bye – Pass Maiumbi Road, Minna|
|Anambra||Amawbia Bye-Pass, Awka|
|Ebonyi||No.1, Amogu Street,
Near Unity square, Abakaliki
|Abia||Ubakala, Ubakala Junction,
Port harcourt-Enugu Expess way,
|Imo||Okigwe Road, Beside Court of Appeal
|Osun||Goverment Technical College Premises,
Along Iwo- Ibadan Road,
|Ogun||Premises of Ogun State Staff Development Center,
Ibrahim Babangida Boulevard,
|Ekiti||New lyin Road Beside CBN, Ado-Ekiti|
|Ondo||Quarters 92, Alagbaka Estate
Near C.B.N. Office, IBB Avenue
|Bayelsa||3, Police Headquarters Road,
|Delta||Okpanam Road, By NTA Juction
|Akwa Ibom||Atiku Abubakar Avenue,
- TheGuardian (August 20, 2021). “President Buhari re-appoints Oloyede as JAMB Registrar”. Guardian.ng. Retrieved March 22, 2022
- JAMB. “Board History”. Jamb.gov.ng. Retrieved March 24, 2022
- Eniola Teniola (May 30, 2017). “JAMB and the rest of us”. vanguardngr.com. Retrieved March 25, 2022