By Chinyere Nwachukwu
Lagos – The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says 700,000 candidates have so far been registered for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) nationwide in two weeks.
The Board’s Head, Media and Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday night.
According to him, the exercise has been hitch-free, with impressive turnout from the first day at the various accredited Computer Based Test (CBT) centres nationwide.
“I will like to say we have actually found this exercise very interesting as we have already registered a total of 700, 000 prospective candidates for this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination in just 14 days.
“We have 21 days left to go for this registration exercise and we wish to call on all candidates, the UTME and Direct Entry, to seize the opportunity and register, as there will be no extension.
Benjamin noted that the Board had blacklisted 41 centres out of the 692 centres used, over issues such as registration cyber fraud, extortion and technical deficiency.
He warned parents not to also give in to any form of extortion.
“It has come to the knowledge of the Board that some elite schools are using the name of the Board to extort huge sum of money from parents under the guise that the Board has ordered such payments.
“The Board wishes to make it clear that unlike the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), the National Examinations Council (NECO) and others, the UTME and the Direct Entry (DE) registration and examination exercises are not school-based.
“As such, schools have no role whatsoever in the Board’s operational processes.
“This is because these exercises require only the participation and engagement of individual candidates.
“Consequently, schools that are using the name of the Board to swindle parents of large sum of money for the purpose of registration or other services, are hereby warned to desist forthwith,” he said.
According to him, these affected schools may wish to employ other means to extort gullible parents but certainly such practice should not be at the expense of the Board or its processes.
Benjamin added that the information became necessary following discovery of series of data mutilation, owing to this unwholesome group processing of registration, among others.
“Parents are to note that the cost of the UTME forms remains N3,500 for the ePINs and N500 for the reading text and nothing more.
“Parents are to ensure that their children do this individually and not as a group. In addition, the CBT centres where the candidates register have been directed not to charge anything above N700 as their service charge,’’ Benjamin said.
On the Board’s advice on vending, Benjamin said it was important for vendors and candidates to know that certain measures had been taken by the Board to define the process of vending ePINs.
He said this was to serve as guide against candidates exposing their personal data to fraudsters.
Benjamin urged candidates to note that any personal data divulged to any third-party, be it a vendor or agent could expose them to the risk of losing their UTME registration, thereby jeopardising their future aspiration.
“In view of the above, the Board wishes to reiterate that pin vending should be done directly to individual candidates and should be done online through the pin vending platform and not offline.
“There should be no bulk purchase of pins by candidates or secondary schools as is being done by some elite schools. All online vending should be done directly to each candidate on the presentation of his or her profile code.
“After vending the pin, the relevant pin should be sent to each candidate through his or her phone, hence there is no need to write the pin by hand, by any vendor or agent.
“Any vendor/agent who collects a prepared list with candidates’ names, profile codes and other vital details for the purpose of vending pins will be sanctioned.
“Similarly, any vendor collecting such prepared lists is hereby advised to desist with immediate effect as this action has severe consequences on the candidates whose data are being exposed indiscriminately,” he warned.