The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it will work with the Association of West Africa Universities (AWAU) to promote and advance tertiary institutions across Africa.
The Registrar of the board, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede made the promise, while meeting with the newly- elected executive members of AWAU at the board’s headquarters on Thursday, in Bwari, Abuja.
Oloyede said that the coming together of universities in Africa was beyond geographic partitioning of the sub-regions in the continent rather, a commitment to promote trans-national researches.
He said that JAMB would utilise platforms such as AWAU for the advancement of tertiary education in Nigeria and Africa at large.
“When we have this kind of opportunity of African countries coming together under whichever platform to jointly promote the interest of Africa, it is also promoting what JAMB was established for.
“That is, to attract candidates who possess the qualifications established as prerequisite for admission into institutions, irrespective of where they come from.
“This is why JAMB mandate goes beyond the geographical expression called Nigeria.”
The Registrar said that it was one of the reasons the board encouraged students from all over the world to be part of the Nigerian tertiary institution system by establishing foreign examination centres.
“We have examination centres across the world where we conduct examination which include Ghana, the Gambia, UK, Saudi Arabia, Cameroon and others.
“All these is to give, not only Nigerians who reside in those countries but also non- lNigerians desirous of gaining education an opportunity.
“It is better to look inwards than outwards, this is why as a board, we are promoting the inter-connectivity of African countries.”
Oloyede assured them that JAMB would continue to play a leading role in the affairs of all educational institutions, particularly in Africa.
He also urged education stakeholders to work together to promote both the educational and cultural resources of these countries in the course of the exchange programmes.
Oloyede said:” Let Nigerians prefer to go to Ghana instead of outside Africa to study.
“Let the people in the Gambia, South Africa, prefer to come to Nigeria than to go elsewhere outside Africa because of the relevance of what we are doing.”
The Chairman of AWAU, Prof. Johnson Boampong, who is also the Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, commended JAMB for its impact on tertiary education in West Africa.
According to Boampong, the association is at the board’s headquarters to interact with the leadership of the board on the focus for its members for the next three years.
He said that plans and strategies that would move the association and the continent forward would be deliberated upon and ensured they would be beneficial to members when implemented.
He advised Africans, who choose the path of studying outside the continent to be part of the development of their countries by looking to study in other African countries rather than outside Africa.
He said: “We have infrastructure in place but not 100 per cent.
“However, what we have is enough and we need to use them judiciously.
“If we appreciate what we have and work together, we can educate our members more. That doesn’t mean we cannot go outside the continent because, we need the exposure, which will help us learn new things.
“We can then bring it home and develop on it.”
Boampong said that African institutions must work together to liberate the continent from economic dependence on non-African countries.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports executive members of the association on the visit included Prof. Chris Nhlapo, Vice Chancellor, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa.
Others are Prof. Adenike Oladeji, Vice-Chancellor, University of Akure, Prof. Wahab Egbewole, Vice- Chancellor, University of Ilorin among others.
NAN reports that AWAU was inaugurated for the purpose of initiating collaboration among universities in West Africa.
The association aims to enhance higher education in the sub-region as it is the case in other Africa sub-regions, and enhance the improvement of infrastructure across the sub-region to improve manpower development.