The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says there may be no extension of registration deadline for candidates, for the 2022 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The Registrar of the board, Prof. Is’haq Oloyede dropped the hint while monitoring the registration exercise in some centres on Friday, in Lagos.
According to him, feelers reaching the board from states across the country reveal that the exercise has been seamless, hence there may be no room for an extension.
The registration which started across the country on Saturday, February 19 will be concluded on March 26.
“We are not expecting any extension. I want to say that we are very happy with the way the exercise has been going, two weeks after it started.
“More than 55,000 have already registered today alone and we had expected at least 50,000 to register as at today, nationwide. But for the few disruptions witnessed in some of these centres, it is possible to register even 100,000 candidates in a day.
“Our target is to make sure that about 100,000 are able to register in a day. Therefore, so far,
I must say I am very satisfied with the registration exercise nationwide.
“The development gladdens my heart because it shows that we are on course, despite the few glitches witnessed in the registration exercise in some centres, there has been a huge progress made,” he stated.
He said that in all, almost 600,000 UTME and Direct Entry (DE) candidates had been registered, noting that with the level of progress made already, coupled with the seamless, process, he did not foresee the need for an extension of the exercise.
“We have hardly had complaint concerning the code 55019, where candidates should send their NIN numbers to, after following the laid down steps.
“We even introduced the 66019, another code, and I must tell you that we have not even used that one; it has been redundant.
“That goes to show you that 55019 is working and is still working. Any candidate having issues with it must be a self-inflicted one, on his or her part.
“It has never been this smooth. So, now, we are having capacity problem, apparently, which started day before yesterday.
“We have spoken with our service providers and Airtel has come on board with expansion. We are expecting MTN to come up with expansion too, so that this disruption will not continue.
“We hope in the next few hours, the few technical hitches currently being experienced will be taken care of and we will be able to have the exercise run smoothly,” he stated.
The JAMB boss attributed some of the challenges to heavy traffic, adding that too many candidates were trying to register at the same time.
“I think the traffic is heavy. What it means is that in the past you will register 25,000 or 30,000 candidates in a day. But here we are, registering over 50,000 candidates in a day.
“Apparently, what is always obvious is that the system is not taking the traffic. That is what I think is responsible for this kind of challenge, which like I said, will be taken care of as we progress.
“The service providers are now working toward expansion, so that it can take as many candidates as possible.
“Traffic is heavier than expected and we have mobilised resources to ensure it is solved. And that is why this kind of thing we are doing is seen as dynamic in nature.
“We have seen what the challenge is and we have been talking to all our service providers; this is just to ensure that each and every one of them expands to accommodate the traffic.
“And we have no problems with that, because as at now, we have registered more than one third of the expected number of candidates,” he said.
On whether the candidates could carry out the registration exercise on their own, the registrar noted that it was quite possible, but that the board was guarding against that for now, in order to avoid more confusion.
“For instance, if we ask these candidates to go and do it on their own, some people would want to take undue advantage of them and in the end, create problems for them.
“It is not like we cannot make it available. If you leave it open, like many people are citing UK and the US, they forget to know that it may not be that easy to obtain same here.
“Some persons could want to use it to blackmail these candidates, seize their data and continue to manipulate them.
“So, it is not like we like to control all what they are doing, but we must do it in the interest of these candidates, because if you leave it open, of course, there are many fraudsters that may want to take advantage of them, seize their data and continue to change and manipulate things.
“There are so many reasons. You see, when you are not in the field, you are a better player. But when you are in the field, it takes so many other things for you to come out victorious,” Oloyede explained.
According to him, it will be easier for JAMB to ask candidates to do the registration online on their own, but with the the nature of what the board is doing, the candidate may be disadvantaged, as anybody could do anything.
He said that there was therefore no way the board would leave the registration open for the candidates for now, noting that good and attractive as it may sound, there was more to it.
Oloyede commended other service providers such as NIMC for a job well done, noting that so far, it had done well.
“I must also commend NIMC for what it has done so far, especially toward the buildup of this registration exercise.
“From what I have seen this year, NIMC has done well. There might be a few problems here and there but definitely I respect the level of improvement in NIMC.
“I must say they have done well and I am proud of them,” he said.
Also speaking, the board Head, Media and Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin, said that only about 200,000 candidates were registered as at this time last year, compared to the 600,000 that had currently registered.
On the number of centres that would be participating in the conduct of the examination proper, Benjamin, who was in company with the registrar, noted that it was not yet certain, as monitoring was ongoing across the country.
“As we speak, we are under monitoring exercise, any centre not found to be fit for the exercise will be delisted.
“So, we do not have the exact number that would participate in this year’s examination, until we are through with the monitoring exercise,” he said.
Benjamin noted, however, that over 700 centres were being used for the registration exercise.
Centres visited in Lagos include WAEC Test and Training Centre, Ogba, JKK centre, on Ikorodu Road, as well as Dalewares on Bode Thomas Street, off Ikorodu Road, among others.