By Chinyere Nwachukwu
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says there may be no extension of
Dr Emmanuel Ndukwe, Chairman, Governing Board of JAMB, made the disclosure to newsmen during an inspection of selected accredited Computer-Based Test (CBT) centres in Lagos on Friday.
According to him, findings on ground show that the ongoing registration in most of the centres has been seamless.
Ndukwe said that the exercise had been satisfactory.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that three major centres were inspected during the tour.
“I am indeed impressed with what I have been able to see regarding registration of candidates for this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.
“Reports garnered so far from the various administrators of these centres, coupled with what I have witnessed, is pointing to just one thing – the fact that the exercise has been going on without hitches.
“The exercise, being this smooth and hitch-free, means there may be no extension of the deadline for this registration.
“We must have to be strict with the approved date of closure of the exercise given to the public.
“If we start thinking about an extension, it will mean portraying the board as not being serious, because you saw for yourselves that some of the centres that we visited had many systems with few candidates to attend to.
“Therefore, all prospective candidates for the examination must be mindful of the deadline for the registration, as I do not foresee any extension,’’ Ndukwe said.
The chairman advised administators of CBT centres to stick to the rules and regulations guiding the process in their interest and that of the candidates.
“If we should find any centres that falls short of the set rules and regulations, or engage in any thing that can undermine the integrity of the examination, we will not hesitate to come down hard out rightly on such centres, to serve as a deterrent to others.
“You can see that during the inspection, we also took out time to talk to some candidates randomly, in an attempt to find out if they were being overcharged at one stage or the other in the course of registering for the examination.
“We are being very strict about it because the President Mohammadu Buhari-led administration, in its magnanimity, reduced the cost of the registration document from the initial N5,000 to N3,500.
“This reduction rate must be carried out to the later because it was done as a result of this administration’s concern about the plight of the ordinary Nigerian.
“Therefore, the board will not take kindly, any form of extortion on them,’’ he said.
He gave the assurance that some security apparatus had already been put in place to ensure that cyber café operators remained shut out of the registration process, saying that their involvement in the past years caused pains to candidates and the country at large.
Mr Olufemi Amoda, Centre Manager, Electronic Test Company, JKK House, on Ikorodu Road, one of the centres visited, said that over 5,000 candidates had so far been registered for the examination in the centre.
He said that the exercise had been hitch-free, adding that it was made possible by what he described as ‘excellent network flow’.
“We are indeed happy with the way the registration has been going, compared to our experience the year before.
“It may interest you to know that we do not less than 150 registration per day; it is very encouraging just as we are happy with all the arrangements put on ground by the board.
“On our part, we are fully set for the mock and the examination proper, as all our backup equipment, including our CCTV cameras, are up-to-date and fully functional.
“This is in a bid to ensure that the examination turns out a huge success,’’ he said.
At Ha-Shem Academy Ltd., off Iwaya Road in Yaba, also visited by Ndukwe, the Manager, Mrs Marie Akpenyi, also lauded the efforts put in place by the board to ensure success of the UTME.
According to her, the registration of candidates this year has been smooth as occasional challenges are quickly rectified.
Some of the candidates interviewed at the centres said that they registered with ease, adding that they hardly spent 10 minutes in the process.
NAN reports that the registration, which began on Jan. 10, will close on Feb. 21. (NAN)