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|Oloyede, Rasheed: Two Of A Kind by tesimoor(f): 7:33am On Aug 31|
By Kunle Akogun
The recent reappointments of Professors Is’haq Oloyede and Abubakar Rasheed as Registrar/Chief Executive of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), respectively, did not come as a surprise to many keen watchers of the two crucial parastatals in the nation’s education sector in the last five years. If anything, the reappointments of the duo have been seen by many people as well-deserved reward for hard work, dexterity and superlative efficiency in the management of human, material and fiscal resources, attributes that have substantially improved the fortunes and ratings of their two organizations since they were first appointed in 2016.
While the duo has severally contributed to the elevation of the quality of education in the country, it is heartwarming that their efforts have been frequently recognised and serially rewarded. Only recently, Prof. Rasheed, who was a former Vice-Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, was ranked as the best Executive Secretary in the history of NUC by a global public service performance rating agency, Also, Prof. Oloyede, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, is nationally renowned to be the most dynamic chief executive of JAMB since its inception.
For Prof. Oloyede in particular, there is no doubt that since his appointment as the JAMB Registrar five years ago, he has remained one of the most visible poster boys of President Muhammadu Buhari’s war against corruption. The reason is simple: The Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence has so sanitised the operations of the tertiary institutions’ admission body in five years that it seems that the 44-years old Board had never been in any tangible operational existence before 2016!
For this singular reason, his reappointment for another term of five years, announced on Friday, 20th August, did not really come as a surprise to many watchers of the great revolution going on in JAMB since August 1, 2016. Indeed, when his first tenure ended on July 31st, 2021, not a few discerning Nigerians openly canvassed his reappointment into the same office, if only to allow him consolidate on the unprecedented socio-economic revolution he initiated and sustained not only in JAMB but in any Nigerian public institution. For, which sane coach changes a winning team?
It is a thing of personal joy for those of us who know this erudite scholar intimately that Prof. Oloyede did not disappoint his teeming admirers since his appointment. Rather, he shamed the vociferous opposition to his well-merited appointment. Not only did he institute an enhanced welfare scheme for JAMB staff that greatly boosted their morale, Prof. Oloyede’s messianic first tenure substantially restored the sanctity of the Board’s main mandate: the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME). And, as evident in all the five admission exercises he superintended, JAMB’s technology considerably improved, with high level of transparency and advanced networking. The scrapping of them traditional scratch card system for checking results is also another positive rebellion by this audacious JAMB helmsman. And the drastic reduction in the application fees is a serious relief to sundry admission seekers and their parents and guardians.
But by far the most remarkable feat by any non-revenue yielding MDA in the country is the consistent remittance by Prof. Oloyede’s JAMB of whopping sums of money in billions of naira to the Federal Government coffers in each of the last five years. This is indeed praise-worthy, especially in a country where even some MDAs that were specifically and originally established to collect revenue for the government often turn round to ask the same government for extra-budgetary bail-outs to supplement their overheads!
By this feat, Prof. Oloyede merely lived up to his well-known credentials of administrative acumen, financial discipline and legendary transparency in public service. An erudite Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence and the first ever Unilorin graduate to make a first class degree in the institution, Oloyede became a household name during his tenure as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, having largely succeeded in turning the second generation University into a world class institution. This, he achieved by dint of hard work, resilience, consistency, tenacity of purpose and unparalleled team spirit.
Indeed, Prof. Oloyede’s trajectory has been a study in service excellence, administrative acumen, religious commitment to the achievement of set goals, and unapologetic insistence on fairness for all. This much has been duly acknowledged by dispassionate watchers of his profile since he emerged the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin in 2007, especially with his sterling track records of achievements.
His reappointment is, therefore, a very commendable masterstroke by the President, as the good works he did in his first term need to be consolidated upon in order to avoid the incidence of the well-known Nigerian syndrome of policy summersault and programme discontinuity that often characterize the advent of any new administration in this clime.
*Kunle Akogun is the Director of Corporate Affairs, University of Ilorin, Nigeria*
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