The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has sought the assistance of the Army to secure its computer-based tests (CBT) centres ahead of the unified tertiary matriculation examination (UTME).
JAMB Registrar/Chief Executive Prof. Is-haq Oloyede made the request at a meeting with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Abuja.
The agency’s spokesperson, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said the registrar solicited the cooperation of the Army in the examination.
Oloyede, who hailed the Army for uniting the country, particularly in defeating insurgents as well as restoring peace to turbulent areas, outlined his mission to the Defence Headquarters.
“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 said.
He said there was need to secure the venues of the UTME for JAMB to conduct a hitch-free exam for candidates desirous of qualitative education to tertiary institutions.
“This need became imperative to seek for security intervention from the Army, particularly in turbulent areas,” he said.
The registrar said over 678 centres across the country as against the 650 CBT centres recorded last year would be put to use with an estimated 1.5 million candidates for the examination, adding that 1.237 million candidates had submitted their applications.
Oloyede told Buratai that the agency was collaborating with Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) to fly candidates in riverine areas to their CBT centres.
He urged the COAS to intervene as the NLNG intervention was not enough.
The JAMB registrar, while listing some security prone areas such as Northeast, Southsouth, among others, noted that the process of seeking admission through the conduct of examination should not be truncated.
He added that the sight of security presence during the examination will give the candidates a high-level of satisfaction and confidence.
Oloyede told the COAS that this year the board was capturing 10 fingers of candidates to forestall any incidence of multiple registrations as noticed with previous year’s registration.
He said the board also insisted on profile creation and other processes to strengthen the education data and ensure candidates did not go through rough times after graduating from tertiary institutions.
Buratai, described the visit as unique and symbolic, stating that the military will ensure there is peace and harmony in the country.
The COAS said as part of its constitutional responsibility, the Army would continue to uphold and make sure that the task given to it was accomplished.
He said some of the flash-points pointed out by the registrar were safe and habitable, adding that normalcy had returned to the Northeast.
The Army chief promised to deploy troops to the areas mentioned by Prof. Oloyede for surveillance and protection during the period stated for the examination.
He directed the Chief of Training and Operations to liaise with officers and men on ground to strengthen security in the centres and officials, particularly those in turbulent states.
Buratai noted that JAMB examination is a national assignment and as such, the Military High Command will not allow any candidate’s dream and desire for tertiary education to be truncated because of insecurity.