Ishaq Oloyede: An Unusual Public Administrator

Date: 2022-01-14

WHILE some people see public office as means of feathering their nests, that is not the case with 67-year-old Is-haq Olanrewaju Oloyede, a professor of Arabic and Islamic Jurisprudence and the Chief Executive Officer/ Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB.

Though the agency he heads is not rated a revenue-generating one by the government, Oloyede has in the past five years remitted nearly N30 billion to the coffers of the Federal Government as operating surplus from the Board. Last year, JAMB remitted N3.51 billion to the national treasury as part of its 2021 operating surplus.

His commitment to probity, coupled with the adoption of international best practices, make for cost-effective operational processes and attendant savings to yield those humongous remittances to the governmentís coffers. This has been the norm rather than the exception in the last six years beginning from 2016 when he remitted a whopping N7 billion and repeated the same in subsequent years.

With the deployment of Information and Communication Technology, ICT, in achieving his objectives of raising the bar of performance in the Board, Oloyede has transformed JAMB into a reference point for ineffective public service delivery, transparency, and accountability with many unprecedented exploits.

It is not only in the prudent management of resources that he has turned things around in JAMB, the use of technology has also made the admission processes to be transparent, as all stakeholders including management of institutions, can monitor online in real-time how the processes go. When candidates, parents or guardians are in doubt about anything, incontrovertible concrete evidence is handy to assuage their feelings.

He has also brought sanity to the admission process through the introduction of the Central Admission Process System, CAPS. Serious monitoring of examination centres has also reduced malpractices hitherto inherent in the system.

Who is this Is-haq Olanrewaju Oloyede? He was born on October 10, 1954 in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Before assuming office as the CEO of JAMB in August 2016, he had served as the Secretary-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs. He attended Progressive Institute, Agege, Lagos for his secondary school education from 1969-1973. He attended Arabic Training Centre ( Markaz), Agege, Lagos from 1973-76. He later proceeded to the University of Ibadan for a certificate course in Islamic and Arabic Studies from 1976-77.

He attended the University of Ilorin for his degree course and bagged first-class honours in 1981. In July 1982, he was appointed a graduate assistant in the Department of Religious Studies, UNILORIN and later got his PhD from the same institution in 1991. He won several scholarship awards and prizes as a student including the Arab League Prize for the best final year certificate student in Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Ibadan.

He also won the Federal Government undergraduate merit award from 1979-81, Department of Religious Studies award, UNILORIN and Faculty of Arts award of the same institution in 1981. He became a professor in 1995 and held many positions at UNILORIN including serving as Deputy Vice-Chancellor, DVC, Academic, 2003-2005, and DVC Administration from 2005-2007 before he became the vice-chancellor on October 15, 2007.

During his term as the vice-chancellor of UNILORIN, Oloyede served as the Chairman, Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities and the Committee of Vice-Chancellors between 2011-2012.

Between 2009-2011, he was President of, Association of African Universities, AUU. No doubt, Is-haq Olanrewaju Oloyede is not only an unusual public administrator but an education icon whose neck still deserves more garlands.

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