By Yekeen Nurudeen
Ahead of the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB and the Nigerian Army have struck a deal to secure Computer Based Tests, CBT, centers with a view to having a hitch free examination.
According to a statement issued on Thursday by the spokesperson of JAMB, Fabian Benjamin, the Registrar of the Board, Ishaq Oloyede, at a meeting with the military high command in Abuja solicited the intervention and cooperation of the Nigerian Army to secure the forthcoming examination.
He pointed out that the mandate of JAMB was to conduct matriculation examination and place suitably qualified candidates to all Nigerian tertiary institutions adding that the Board was at the verge of the first process hence the need to secure the venues, candidates and examination officials.
“It has become imperative to seek for security intervention from the Army, particularly in turbulent areas”, he said.
The Registrar noted that over 678 centers across the country as against the 2016 figure of 650 would be put to use with estimated 1.5 million candidates for the examination, adding that 1.237 million candidates have already submitted their application.
Oloyede also told the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai that though there was an agreement with Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG to airlift candidates in riverine areas to their CBT centers, there is also need for the COAS to intervene as the NLNG intervention may not be enough.
The JAMB Registrar noted that the sight of security men at examination venues would give the candidate a high level of satisfaction and confidence.
He informed the Army management that this year the Board is capturing candidates’ ten fingers to forestall any incidence of multiple registrations as noticed with previous years registration adding that the Board also insisted on profile creation and other processes to strengthen the education data and ensure that candidates do not go through hell years after graduating from tertiary institutions.
Oloyede commended the Nigerian Army for uniting the country particularly the feat it recorded in the insurgency war and restoring peace in other turbulent areas.
He said, “We are here to thank you for the wonderful job you have been doing, all Nigerians are happy with you for the wonderful feat you have recorded in the discharge of your duties, and your quest for an indivisible and united country.”
In a remark the Chief of Army staff, Tukur Buratai, described the visit as unique and symbolic stating that the military would ensure that there is peace and harmony in the country. The COAS said as part of their constitutional responsibilities the Nigerian Army would continue to uphold and make sure that the task given to them is accomplished.
He said some of the flash points pointed out by the Registrar are not only safe but habitable and he disclosed that normalcy has returned, particularly in the North east.
He promised to deploy troops for more surveillance and protection during the period stated for the examination.
Buratai pointed out that JAMB examination is a national assignment and as such the military high command would not allow any candidate’s dream and desire for tertiary education to be truncated because of insecurity.
The Chief of Army Staff who is a product of JAMB promised to give all the necessary logistic to make the examination a success.