UTME: JAMB, Army strike deal on security; troops to be deployed to flashpoints

As candidates prepare for the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has formed a common synergy with Nigerian Army to secure the Computer Based Tests, CBT, centres with a view to having a hitch free examination.

A statement issued on Thursday by the spokesperson of JAMB, Fabian Benjamin, said the Registrar/Chief Executive of JAMB, Is-haq Oloyede, at a meeting with the military high command in Abuja solicited for the intervention and cooperation of the Nigerian Army in the forthcoming examination.

While commending the Nigerian Army for uniting the country particularly the feat it recorded in the insurgency war and restoring peace in other turbulent areas, Mr. Oloyede outlined his mission to the Defence Headquarters.

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.”

He pointed out that the mandate of JAMB was to conduct matriculation examination and place suitably qualified candidates desirous of qualitative education 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.

“This need became imperative to seek for security intervention from the Army, particularly in turbulent areas”, he said.

The Registrar noted that over 678 centres across the country against the last year’s figure of 650 CBT centres would be put to use with estimated 1.5 million candidates for the examination, adding that 1.237 million candidates have already submitted their applications.

Mr. Oloyede also told the Chief of Army staff that there was collaboration with Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas, NLNG, to airlift candidates in riverine areas to their CBT centres.

He pleaded that the army chief intervene as the NLNG intervention though noble was not enough.

The JAMB registrar while listing some security prone areas like the North-East, South-South among others, noted that the process of seeking admission through the conduct of examination should not be truncated, adding that the sight of security presence during the examination would give the candidates a high level of satisfaction and confidence.

The JAMB Chief Executive informed the Army management that this year, the Board is capturing candidates ten fingers to forestall any incidence of multiple registration as noticed with previous years’ registration. He said 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.

Nigerian were urged to support the Board as the benefits of all these policies to the candidates and national statistics are far much more than the present difficulties being experience by candidates and parents.

In a remark the Chief of Army staff, Tukur Buratai, a lieutenant general, described the visit as unique and symbolic stating that the military would ensure that there is peace and harmony in the country.

He said as part of their constitutional responsibility, 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 by the Registrar are not only safe but habitable and he disclosed that normalcy, particularly in the North east has returned even as he promised to deploy troop for more surveillance and protection during the period stated for the examination.

The Chief of Training and operations was directed to liaise with officers and men on ground to strengthen the security of the centres and officials particularly those in turbulent states.

Mr. 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 was a product of JAMB promised to give all the necessary logistic to make the examination a success.

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