Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Registrar Prof Ishaq Oloyede has said no fewer than 200 million candidates are expected to register for this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME).
Prof Oloyede declared that the examination body returned N7.8 billion to the Federal Government coffers from the proceeds of examination forms sold in 2017.
He stated that the fund was sourced from the N12billion income made during the year.
He said the board had effected changes in the process and procedure for registration and conduct of examination for candidates to curb hitherto malpractices in the processes.
The JAMB boss told reporters at the weekend in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital.
He said contrary to the insinuation that the board increased the examination fee, which enabled the milestone, the JAMB boss said the agency rather made some reductions in the fee payable for the examination.
He said the examination board also significantly reduced the amount paid for exam by foreign applicants, maintaining that it was aimed at encouraging huge number of them.
Oloyede informed that the agency introduced Central Admission Processing System (CAPS) in the bid to address the imbalance observed in the admission process for the applicants.
He noted that with the introduction of the system, the process of admission into higher institutions of learning in the country has become more transparent, saying there was no need for any institution to come to the Headquarters of the board for certain rectitude.
Oloyede, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, said the system involved by the agency is making 90 percent of admission to be based on merit.
He also stated that the board had expanded its facilities by spending N1billion last year, adding that 15,000 centres would be created for prospective UTME candidates this year.
On his stewardship, he said: “It has been very tough but it has also been very rewarding. When we started in 2015 we did not realize we were going into a serious war. Initially we thought it is a call to duty, but when got there we realised it was not going to be easy because of entrenched interest. With capacity and network of such interest if you are not careful one will derail.
“We have conducted the first exams with the new technology in 2017 and now we have started selling the registration forms for 2018 UTME.
At that time many people were saying only one month for JAMB registration. Some genuinely and some mischievously. The genuine ones wondered to register about 200 million candidates is too short a period. To me I believe that is the right way to go. For example prior to 2016 we used to sell JAMB for between five and six months in theory, but practice we sell 90 percent of the form in 30 days.
Because many people did not have the fact of the new method, even the National Assembly, they say we should extend it to two months.
“Within the last one year students across the country had paid over N300 million to JAMB for change of names for wrong spelling at the CBT centres.”