The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says I will soon commence the verification of centres that would be eligible for use for it’s 2020 all computer-based Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
This was disclosed by the Head, Media, and Information of the board, Dr Fabian Benjamin, to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
Benjamin said preparations for the examinations are already in top gear by the board to ensure things go smoothly.
He said, “We have concluded plans to kick start the centre verification as part of preparations to ensure smooth conduct of 2020 UTME nationwide. “We will likely commence the exercise not later than Monday, Nov. 18, and we plan to use at least 700 well accredited centres across the country.
“The board in its usual penchant for excellence will not accept anything short of what is expected of the centres that wish to participate in the examination,” Benjamin told NAN.
“We have laid down rules and regulations guiding the use of any centre and as such, we expect that owners of centres who intend to collaborate with the board in ensuring the success of this upcoming examination will have no choice than to meet such rules or stay away.
“Those who are genuine stakeholders of our examinations are already aware of our position in the fight against examination infractions and other forms of sharp practices.
“They also know about the board’s zero tolerance in any behaviour of a person or group of persons that intend to undermine the integrity of our examination or that of the board.’’
The spokesman dissociated the board from reports making the rounds by a group of individuals in some sections of the media that JAMB’s move to commence the centre verification was alleged of a short notice, ill-timed and designed to push a lot of the centre owners out of business.
Benjamin disowned the group known as Owners of CBT Centre Proprietors Association of Nigeria (CTAN) who, according to him, had called a news conference to raise the allegation against the board.
“It is regrettable that these persons under whatever guise are trying to create confusion, heat up the polity and mislead the innocent public with this sort of propaganda.
“The fact remains that no amount of blackmail or intimidation will stop us from doing what is right before the law and to the interest of our children and the development of our country in general.
“We will go ahead with the centre verification any moment from today nationwide and nothing will stop us from achieving this.
“Those genuine centre owners who have been partnering with us over the years in ensuring that we carry out a seamless exercise and who do not have anything to hide, to the best of our knowledge, should be ready at any given time to face the verification,” he told NAN.
Benjamin added: “This is because such centre owners have their integrity at stake and know what is demanded of them in a bid to collectively sanitise our education system and take this country to its desired position.
“We wish to state unequivocally that the board will not succumb to any cheap blackmail in a bid to do what is right, just as we will not hesitate to mete out appropriate sanctions to centres that would at one point or the other decide to compromise the integrity of the examination.’’