By Adesina Wahab
No fewer than 1.4 million candidates seeking admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria on Saturday started writing this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, being conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB.
The number of candidates for this year’s exam was a significant drop from the previous year’s when about 2 million candidates sat for the exam.
While some blamed the drop on challenges encountered by some candidates in linking their National Identification Number, NIN, to their applications, JAMB still gave such candidates a two-week window to register at its offices nationwide.
At the end of the day, less than 50,000 candidates took that opportunity.
The Registrar, Prof. Isaq Oloyede, said the huge figures of the past could be attributable to double registration by some people or even registration by proxies that the NIN has helped to eliminate.
While the examination for early registrants would end on July 3, this year, the Board is expected to conduct a mop up examination for candidates who registered late at a later date.
When Sunday Vanguard visited some of the examination centres in Ikotun, Ogba, Abule-Egba, Ikorodu among others, there were no serious cases of hitches or malpractices noticed.
Candidates and their parents expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the exercise.
At a centre in Ogolonto, Ikorodu, Femi, a candidate, said, “I was among the first set who sat for the exam and everything was prompt. There were no technical hitches and no disruption of the exercise. Everything was done in orderly manner.”
At a centre in Abule-Egba, Lagos, men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, were on hand to prevent parents of candidates from staying too close to the centre.
In Ikotun area of Lagos too, the exam started on time and the usual issue of candidates having difficulties in logging in did not occur.