By Chinyere Nwachukwu
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says there will be no going back on the new deadline for the current registration of candidates for the Direct Entry examination.
The Head, Information and Protocol of the board, Dr Fabian Benjamin, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos.
Recall that the board had the registration of candidates for Direct Entry from Feb. 20 to May 13.
However, registration of the candidates was restricted to just the zonal offices of the board across the country.
The development created a surge that allegedly led to some candidates sleeping outside the gate of the Lagos zonal office of the board, all in a bid to beat the registration deadline.
This led to a public outcry, as some stakeholders were insinuating plans by the board to disqualify many candidates from participating in the exercise.
Reacting to the development, the board, opened another window for the direct entry on Tuesday, May, 23.
The step was taken in a bid to counter the claims made against the board and give prospective candidates equal opportunity to sit for the examination.
The board said that it had opened the registration at its Lagos office in Ikoyi and the JKK CBT Centre on Ikorodu Road.
The new window for registration is to close on May 30.
When NAN visited the JKK Centre, only 13 candidates were said to have come around for registration for the examination.
Most of the JAMB officials who were on ground to carry out the registration were seen sitting and waiting patiently to receive more of the candidates.
Other candidates that were seen at the centre were those who were about to regularise their PINs or do data corrections and related issues.
“I want to appeal to parents, stakeholders and indeed the candidates in particular, to key into this last opportunity provided by the board to do this registration as there will be no further extension.
“We have to create this additional access to respond to the cries of the public who may not know our mode of operation.
“As a responsible organisation, we do all we can to ensure that all our candidates are given equal opportunity as against a video that went viral showing candidates sleeping outside our office gate in Ikoyi on their volition, just to get registered during the last minute deadline surge.
“We have made our arrangements, we have made our calculations and we want to prove to the world that the platform we have is sufficient for the registration of our direct entry,” Benjamin said.
He added that the board decided to bend backward because of its resolve not leave any Nigerian child craving for higher learning behind.
According to him: JAMB has decided to toe the line of the public too and feelers from the registration centres in Lagos indicate that they are empty.
“That is why we want to let every one be aware, so that when eventually we close registration, no one should accuse the board.
“If we say that the candidates are not at the JKK Centre because they are not aware, what about our Ikoyi office which was originally the only place designated for the registration?
“As we speak, only about 20 to 30 candidates have trickled in to get their registration done, even after sending SMS to those who had acquired their PIN.
He explained that the board would not be compelled to get its hand bent backward, by some persons he described as mischief makers. (NAN)