By James, Michael Igiri
For a second year running, students from Imo State topped the number of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) applications with 101, 868 in 2017.
This was disclosed by JAMB Registrar, Is-haq Oloyede during a briefing with reporters on Tuesday in Abuja ahead of the unified tertiary matriculation examination (UTME) billed to start on Saturday in 642 computer based test (CBT) centres across the country.
According to him, Imo(101,868); Osun(88,653); and Oyo(87,811) States topped the list of those with the highest number of applications this year, following a collation of statistics based on state of origin.
Prof. Oloyede however said the lowest applications were recorded by Benue (68, 916), Kogi (70, 150) and Kano (70, 276) respectively.
He added that the agency registered 1.7 million candidates- an increase of 464,287 candidates from last year’s 1.2 million candidates registered- for the 2016 UTME,
Oloyede said: “As we set for the 2017 exercise, we have expanded on almost all the frontiers of the 2017 examinations. You may recall that last year, the examination was conducted in 524 centres.
The 2017 UTME will hold simultaneously in 642 examination centres in Nigeria.
“A total number of one million, seven hundred and thirty-six thousand, five hundred and seventy- one (1,736, 571) candidates have registered for the 2017 UTME.
“In the last UTME conducted in 2016, a total of one million, two hundred and seventy-two thousand, two hundred and eighty-four (1,272,284) candidates registered for the 2015 UTME.
“The figure for the 2017 UTME shows an increase of four hundred and sixty-four thousand, two hundred and eighty-seven (464,287) applicants when compared with last year’s figure of one million, two hundred and seventy-two thousand, two hundred and eighty-four (1,272,284).
He added that JAMB was more prepared to conduct a successful UTME after learning all the lessons from the recent past. He also revealed the agency has made provisions for 321 visually impaired candidates to take write examination.
“A total of 321 visually impaired candidates registered for this year’s examination and adequate arrangements have been provided to ensure that they partake in the examination.
“It is the board’s desire to ensure that no candidate is deprived of taking its examination. The examination will be conducted using JAMB’s equal opportunity group, a group of experts in education, who have graciously assisted in the assessment exercise.
“We have created 691,000 registration points instead of the previous less than 1000. This means that we have developed a system that would allow 691000 candidates to register in 10 minutes with our free access code granted to 100 points of registration at each centre even if our plan was to register 50,000 candidates per day.
“We have started to install CCTV cameras at our test centres so that from the situation room, we can monitor what is going on across the country,” he said.
Oloyede also disclosed that the organisation had successfully prosecuted two Nigerians who were involved in result forgery.
“It is certainly not going to be business as usual in the conduct of the board’s examination and other processes. In line with this resolution, the board had secured through diligent prosecution, the conviction of two Nigerians who forged the board’s results and came around for confirmation.
“At the moment, we have lodged complaints against a number of CBT centre owners for one infraction or the other and a number of them were arrested, cautioned, while others are to be prosecuted so as to serve as a deterrent to others,” he added.