The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, called
an all-inclusive meeting of stakeholders at Abuja penultimate
Tuesday to fine tune, that is, dot the Is and cross the Ts in its
final road map to conducting a distinctive Unified Tertiary
Matriculation Examination, UTME,


 it has scheduled for the
third month of 2018. The matriculation examination for this
year would run from March 9 to 17, 2018 while the warm-up
exercise – mock examination – would be conducted in the
first week of February.


Themed: Strategic Planning on Supervision and Evaluation of
the Conduct of the 2018 UTME, the high-powered
stakeholders’ meeting was held at the National Judicial
Institute, Abuja on January 9 and was the arrowhead of the
series of stakeholders’ meetings which kicked off on
November 6 last year. JAMB had on November 6 held
consultative meetings with mobile money operators; the
banks and mobile service operators and technical advisors
the following day and the November 8 meeting was held with
computer based test centre owners and technical advisors.
The build-up to the March UTME also included a stakeholders’
meeting with state commissioners for education, National
Assembly members, the Board’s chief external examiners and
other stakeholders last November 15.


The sale of application
and registration document scheduled to run from December
6, 2017 to February 6 this year is currently running.
The Board had to shift its mock examination designed to tone
up fresh candidates from January 22 to 24 to February in view
of an ongoing Non-Academic Staff Union’s, NASU, industrial
action in some tertiary institutions, an action that stalled the
accreditation of “the Computer Based Tests Centres” in
affected institutions.
JAMB ultimate push towards the March examination involved
the honing of the expanded monitoring groups at the Abuja
strategic meeting, which reviewed last year’s exercis
e and sensitized participants to the dangers to avoid and the
Board’s preparations for an integrity-ladden exercise. .
JAMB’s Registrar, Professor Is-haq Olanrewaju Oloyede,
outlined the improvements on the existing infrastructure and
the strategic plan for the national task ahead saying: “Most of
the features of 2017 UTME are retained and in most cases
enhanced. But, in addition, some new elements are
introduced to address current realities.”
“To achieve effective communication from the Board to the
candidates, eliminate extortion of candidates by CBT centres
and cyber caf├ęs with respect to (email) profile creation and
ease the process for candidates”, 


JAMB now “employs Short
Service Code on the four mobile operators’ networks with
candidate sending his or her name to 55019 on his/her unique
cellphone number and receiving a profile code (attached to
the phone number). 


The profile code will be maintained and
used in all subsequent activities, including procurement of
ePIN to purchase of application document”, Prof. Oloyede
JAMB has created more payment platforms and outlets this
year with “thousands of outlets across the country to procure
ePIN.” Giving some of the outlets as mobile money operators,
automated teller machines (ATMs), NIBSS supported USSD
payment platforms he explained that the new ones
complemented the 2017 partners such as banks, NIPOST,
Remita and Interswitch.
“In the course of monitoring the registration exercise, we have
discovered that a particular mobile service operator was
engaging in multiple charging candidates for failed service.
We have issued stern warning to Telcos to desist and ordered
the particular service provider to refund the excess charges to
the affected candidates. In the same vein, some banks were
manually writing the ePIN for candidates as against automatic

  • delivery to the candidates’ unique numbers thus creating the
potentials for introducing unnecessary errors,” said the
Registrar, adding that the organisations involved risked being
blacklisted and disengaged if they failed to refrain.
The Board’s Registrar enthused that it had strengthened the
CBT centres with a view to eliminating ‘VIP’ rooms where high
bidders could cheat with ease, provision of toilet facilities and
automation of some elements and other facilities to remove
human errors. “A meeting has been scheduled ahead of the
mock examination to share accreditation results with the CBT
Other innovation driven features for this year’s matriculation
examination include a “more robust and fortified Custom
Browser developed and deployed for accreditation exercise
thus phasing out the use of optionally used other generic
“The 2018 UTME delivery software employs biometric
authentication of the technical officers to receive examination
on the delivery servers and activate it for the candidates. And
the examination cannot be activated ahead of the scheduled
time.” The policy on “no biometric authentication for
candidates, no participation in the examination stays, Oloyede
said with emphasis. The mouse driven computer system has
been phased out and replaced with 8-key system thus
eliminating the fears of mouse phobic candidates.
JAMB announced the prohibition of three more items – biros,
wrist watches and calculators – in this year’s UTME. This is in
addition to the prohibition of other devices that could store,
transmit or receive signals. The unique feature of the
prohibitions is that they extend to all the officials who would
be on duty at CBT centres nationwide as well.
The Board is also prepared to frontally tackle smart cheating
this time around. It convened a retreat late last year on the
identification of the various technology devices that aid
cheating and how to proactively contain them. The sum total
of the thorough preparations, said the Registrar, was to “build
a repository and archives of technology devices and methods
in use for examination practices to serve as reference and
build awareness, identify and profile all possible threats of
technology supported examination malpractice, develop
effective counter measures to detect, deter and prevent all
methods of cheating in the Board’s examinations.”
Prof. Oloyede revisited the extremes to which candidates and
some parents went to up their marks. He mentioned the
incidence of an examiner caught fondling with a female
candidate and was appropriately sanctioned. To the
amazement of all, the mother of the candidate sought the
conversion of the abuse to bonus marks for her girl. Another
offered to spend a night with a bewildered vice chancellor just
to railroad her daughter through the admission process.
The January 9 meeting broke into syndicate session at which
nine groups, chaired by a former JAMB Registrar, seven
professors and a retired Lt-General, brainstormed on the
modalities for effective monitoring of the March 9 – 17 UTME.
The monitoring groups comprise the civil society, general
monitors, high-powered/opinion leaders, NYSC directors and
equal opportunity. Others are youths of virtues, peace
monitors, Bwari (JAMB Headquarters) centre and chief
external examiners.
For Prof. Oloyede and his changed JAMB, the 2018 UTME is
an examination worth conducting. Consequently, and as the
saying goes, it is a job worth doing well, very well. ‘
JAMB has done its home work thoroughly and, other things
being equal, the conduct of this year’s UTME will outshine the
previous year’s and the credit would be due to the assiduity
of the Board’s team under the leadership of Prof. Oloyede,
with a profound ability to assemble the best brains in the
country to achieve set goals for the Board.

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