The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has said it would not hesitate to withdraw results of candidates involved in malpractice in the just concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), after thorough viewing of Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras deployed for the examination.
This was as it disclosed that it recorded 40 cases of malpractices as well as arresting some security agents for involvement in various forms of fraud during the exercise.
The 40 cases of malpractices in this year’s examination, according to the board, were against the over 4,000 recorded in the previous year.
Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Ish-aq Oloyede, made this known during an overnight visit by the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education to the board’s headquarters in Abuja.
Oloyede, who presented the 2020 budget performance of the board to the committee, said the introduction of National Identification Number (NIN) in UTME registration successfully flushed out ‘fake people’ from the exam process as well as curtailed malpractices.
“This year, examination malpractice dropped radically from over 4,000, 5,000 to about 40; and of the 40, not less than 50% of the 40 are traceable to institutions…..
“What we have this year is security agents trying to change candidates after they have been verified. After biometric verification, their parents would have paid security agents they will now smuggle him out and smuggle in new person whose finger was not verified, of course the CCTV cameras will pick them and that is why we are now arresting the security men, two or three have confessed that I paid N2,000, my mother paid N3,000 to smuggle in a person other than the person (registered for the exam) because they could not go through biometrics,” Oloyede said.
On the alleged poor performance by candidates in this year’s exam, Oloyede said UTME is not a certification exam; hence, there cannot be an issue of mass failure.
“Some people don’t know that in the ranking exam there is no pass or fail. You can’t fail it, you are just ranking them because what qualifies candidates for university education is not UTME, what qualifies you is five O’Level credits so, it is assumed all of them have five O’Level credits. I give this example; that somebody has a wife and five children and he is going to Lagos for Sallah and he said, oh, all of you are my children, how do I choose those to go with me? Ok, I will set a test for you. The first three will go with me.
“There is no pass mark. Somebody can score 9, the second can score 3, Nigerians will say 3 over 10? As if.., the exam we conduct is one chance exam. One chance exam! What that means is that anything can affect it, if you quarrel with your wife that morning it will affect your performance. In the certification exam you take more than three and there is continuous assessment. They don’t know what assessment is, rather than keep quiet they will be fouling the environment with ignorance,” he said.
Speaking further on the results, the JAMB boss said, “When we released the last results those who are making noise are the proprietors of schools and tutorial masters because of the money they have collected from the parents and their ability in the past to cut corners and get inflated results for people.
“We are blocking them and thanks to the Federal Government. The introduction of NIN really helped. Many people were making noise saying the introduction of NIN will put people under pressure, that thousands would not be registered.
“To show the statistics, after we have finished with the old (normal registration), we opened the new one, we said everybody who had not be able to take our forms due to NIN come and register, bring a draft of N4,000, so, that we don’t just make fake people to come around and they came.
“All of them were about 36,000, who were deprived because of NIN, but the gain for the country is better than 36, 000 that were not registered because of the fake number we were having.
“Last year we registered 2.2million, yes it is money for JAMB but that is not the type of money a nation needs,” adding that only close to 1.4million candidates registered for this year’s exam because of the NIN which prevented dubious registration.
Oloyode also revealed that plans are underway to put in place 2,500 capacity CBT centre in the present JAMB headquarters for the conduct of UTME and other exams for government agencies.
The Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education, Hon Akon Eyakenyi, who led the team to JAMB, expressed delight and satisfaction with the report presented by Oloyede, especially in the area of the board’s expenditure and seamless conduct of UTME.
On some of the issues raised by the board, the committee promised to ensure an amendment of JAMB Act to prohibit regularisation of illegal admission and prescribe a minimum age that must be attained by a candidate before gaining entry into the university system.
She said, “The interaction with the registrar of JAMB today revealed a lot of truth that Nigerians don’t know as it relates to conduct of special exams like the UTME. I would like to first appreciate the registrar, his management team. Indeed, today’s revelation has proven that the registrar is a round peg in a round hole. He knows what it takes to run an institution like this. Most of the revelations on things we saw are not what should be exposed to the public in terms of the conduct of the exam.
“The indices; what they are looking for. What the registration bodies should do, what the admission institutions should do. I want to say that they have done very well. The progress so far, what we have seen as a committee over-sighting board. We want to congratulate them for the great work they have done. If this continues, definitely the educational sector in this nation will be improved. That is what we are looking out for.
“JAMB serves as a bridge between the secondary and the university, if the products from the secondary school are not properly catered for and reassessed before turning them to the university, definitely we will have a problem as to the students in the university. JAMB is doing a great job in that aspect.
“Our own work is that of making laws, we have identified two major areas that we need to go into the process of amending the Act establishing JAMB that is the area of support that we will give, other than that, we also intend to pass on what we have seen today to the appropriate MDAs, the Federal Ministry of Education to ensure the support that JAMB needs is given to them.”
Other members of the committee that took part in the oversight visit include, Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe, Senator Francis Ibezim, Senator Kola Balogun and Senator Stephen Odey.
Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Basic Education has said it would work towards amending the law establishing the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to stop the board from admitting candidates below the age of 18 years.
This was disclosed by the Vice Chairman of the committee, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, during the committee’s oversight visit to JAMB.
According to the committee, age has a lot to do with learning ability, particularly in higher institutions.
Eyakenyi noted that education was very important in the development of the country stressing that the sector deserves to be given much attention.
The senator described the JAMB as a bridge between the secondary and the university, stressing that the agency was a necessary vehicle for the delivery of quality and standard education in Nigeria.
“If the products from the secondary schools are not properly catered for to be assessed before turning them into the university definitely you will have a problem,” she said.
Ensure Security Of Govt Projects, SSG Tasks Community Leaders
The Secretary to Rivers State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, has implored leaders of community associations in the state to monitor ongoing projects in their communities to ensure that the security of the contracting firms was not compromised.
Danagogo made this assertion when the leaders of a socio-cultural group, Nyemoni Awome Ogbo of Abonnema, paid him a courtesy visit in Port Harcourt, last Tuesday.
On the ongoing Trans-KalabariRoad project, Danagogo noted that the governor’s determination to deliver the first phase of the road in 14 months was unshakable as it was cash-backed.
“This is a crucial project to the development of Kalabari Kingdom. Every right-thinking Kalabari person must condemn, and avoid anything that will cause delays to the project delivery. What the governor is doing for us is unprecedented in the annals of the history of governance in this state.
“As Kalabari people, we must condemn every gang-up to sabotage the development of the Trans-Kalabari Road project. This road project is being executed to transform our communities, and this government is doing it for us. If our own people either by acts of omission are trying to sabotage this developmental effort, then, you must be proactive in condemning it and stopping them. You must as leaders commend what deserves commendation, and condemn what deserves condemnation”.
The SSG further condemned the recent kidnap of a staff of the contracting company, and particularly noted with dismay the sad comments made by notorious Kalabari group whose founder/leader is a known kidnapper and illegal bunkerer who owes Kalabari and Rivers State explanation and apology for several kidnappings, including the kidnap of the wife of the late High Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs.
He urged Kalabari leaders not to allow people without meaningful source of livelihood or good intentions to speak on their behalf.
Earlier, the former President of Nyemoni Awome Ogbo of Abonnema, Prof. Adaye Orugbani, had said that the visit was to serve as an opportunity for the association to express its appreciation to Governor Nyesom Wike for his benevolence and love for the people of Kalabari Kingdom and Akuku Toru Local Government Area in particular.
“We are here to thank the governor through the SSG for the immense developmental projects in our community. These projects are crucial to the development of our community, particularly the Ring Road. In a record time, he commenced and completed the project.
“As an island, it used to be difficult to access Abonnema Town, but today, we have easy access in and out of the town because of the Ring Road. As an island community, the land is scarce and expensive, but the sand-filling projects of 52 hectares of land also awarded by Governor Nyesom Wike will provide us with more land for other developmental projects and expansion,” he stressed.
Orugbani added that the ongoing Trans-Kalabari Road project was a goldmine that all sons and daughters of Kalabari Kingdom should be happy about.
Rivers Exco Approves N5bn To Resuscitate Health Institutions
The Rivers State Executive Council has approved over N5billion required for the revamping of the Prof. Kelsey Harrison Hospital, and the Dental and Maxillofacial Hospital located in Port Harcourt.
The state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, presided over the meeting that held at the Executive Council Chamber of Government House, Port Harcourt, last Wednesday.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Princewill Chike said, the approved sum would be spent on renovation, rehabilitation and installation of medical equipment at the health facilities.
“For the Prof. Kelsey Harrison Hospital in Port Harcourt, the civil work is to cost N1, 007, 205, 941, 51, while the equipping and furnishing and installation of medical equipment will cost N693, 570, 367, 25.”
The commissioner said the work at the Prof. Kelsey Harrison Hospital was expected to last for a period of 13 months, and when completed, would be an affiliate of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, to add to the training of medical doctors and medical personnel.
Chike also spoke about the approval given for the revamp of the Dental and Maxillofacial Hospital, which he said, when completed, would also be affiliated to the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital for the training of medical personnel.
“The civil work is to cost N1, 789, 395, 743, 87 only, while, the equipping, installation and furnishing will cost N1, 590, 671, 047,31.”
Chike also provided explanation as to why the Mother and Child Hospital has not commenced full operations after it was officially inaugurated.
He said the Council had approved a committee which was working together with the Bureau for Public/Private Procurement, to make sure that the necessary processes for seamless take off of the hospital was put in place so that the facility can offer maximal service to the public.
Chike stressed that the State Executive Council was also briefed about the approval given by the Medical and Dental Council to the Rivers State University College of Medical Sciences to admit 100 students per session.
The commissioner said the cases of Covid-19 in the state have continued to grow because residents have refused to observe the Covid-19 protocols.
He called on residents in the state to avoid crowded areas like weddings, burial events, market places, wash their hands regularly, and also wear facemasks.
Also speaking to journalists, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, said council approved that a bill be sent to the Rivers State House of Assembly for the enactment of a law for judicial officers to own their houses on retirement.
He explained that the approval was in line with policy of the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration to ensure that judicial officers who put in their best to ensure that justice was done in a very fair manner in the state were well housed after their service years.
“And to entrench this as its policy, a bill has been sent to the Rivers State House of Assembly for the enactment of a law,so that, at the end of this administration, subsequent administrations that will come will ensure that this policy is not toiled with”, Nsirim said.
Nsirim also said that Rivers State has been approved as the South-South Zonal Headquarters of the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC).
According to him, the state was to also establish a Judicial Institute for the training of judges and magistrates which would complement the activities of the National Judicial Council (NJC).
“The establishment of the institute is a way of helping to ensure that judges and magistrates who are in the state here have regular training as a way of updating them on their skills to complement what the National Judicial Service Commission does for them.”
On his part, the Special Adviser to Governor Nyesom Wike on Special Projects, Dax Alabo George Kelly, said the council ratified the approval given for the construction of Nabo Graham-Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School in Port Harcourt.
According to him, all the structures both on the campus in Rumueme community and at the staff quarters opposite the Hotel Presidential will be completed within the stipulated seven months, and ready as part of projects to celebrate the third-year of anniversary of Governor Nyesom Wike’s second tenure next year.
Scare As EFCC Chairman Slumps At Aso Rock
The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, reportedly slumped, and was rushed out of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
Bawa was giving his goodwill message at the National Identity Day celebration when he suddenly stopped speaking.
According to reports, Bawa was talking about a man the commission arrested in Ibadan, Oyo State, with 116 SIM cards when the incident happened.
Bawa had stopped talking and covered his face with his right palm, saying, “Please, excuse me, I can’t continue.”
However, in a swift reaction to the incident, the organisation’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said that Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa,was hale and hearty.
He said in a two-paragraph statement, yesterday afternoon that, while giving a goodwill message at an event at the Presidential Villa, yesterday morning, Bawa felt unwell and decided to return to his seat.
The statement reads in full, “The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa is hale and hearty.
“This clarification became necessary following an incident today September 16, 2021, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where he was giving a goodwill message to the National Identity Day celebration, felt unwell and had to return to his seat.
“He has since received medical attention and is due back at his desk”.
Meanwhile, the reason the Chairman of the Economic and Crimes Commission, Abdurasheed Bawa, collapsed while delivering a goodwill message at the National Identity Day at Banquet Hall, State House Abuja, has been revealed.
Bawa was rushed to the State House Clinic for medical attention.
Reacting to the development, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, attributed the collapse to pressure and work burden.
He enjoined Nigerians to pray for Bawa, noting that he has regained consciousness.
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