The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has urged the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board to stop giving “preferential scores” to Northern Nigerian students who sit for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.

El-Rufai stated this on Monday while speaking on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ breakfast programme.

Kaduna State Governor Nasiru Ahmed El-Rufai

The governor advised the body to stop giving students in the North lower cut-off marks but rather apply the same cut-off marks as their counterparts from other parts of the country for them to be competitive nationally and internationally.

The admissions board was established in 1978 saddled with the responsibility “to conduct matriculation examinations for entry into all universities polytechnics and colleges of education in the country and to place suitably qualified candidates in the available places in these institutions.”

He said, “The north has always been behind in education, we’ve continuously been the disadvantaged region right from independence even though we’re given preferences, JAMB scores and all that. That has not helped; in fact, it has made our people lazy.

“Against this differential JAMB and FG (Federal Government) scores, I think people should be encouraged to work hard and compete and we are prepared to make our children in Kaduna State to be competitive, not only in the state but globally.

“The schools are closed now because, on the advice of security agencies, they need a couple of months to undertake massive security operations. They are doing that. We are confident that from the next two weeks, we would start the gradual reopening of schools.

“We have moved many of our students in rural areas that we are not sure we can protect to urban schools, thereby increasing the congestion in urban schools that we can protect.

“The continuous closure of schools is exactly what bandits and Boko Haram want and we are not going to let them win but we must put the safety of our children and teachers first."

El-Rufai also said the current closure of schools in the state was the major goal of bandits and terrorists oppressing the state but he vowed that they won’t win as he stated that the gradual reopening of schools would commence soon.

Furthermore, the governor said that the state generated over $3bn foreign and local investments in the last two years despite the menace of banditry.

According to him, the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies are overwhelmed, hence, the need to train hundreds of vigilantes who will bear arms and confront the marauders who operate from the forests of Kaduna.

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