Written by Godfrey AKON

2020 UTME: JAMB, NSCDC vow crackdown on erring agents

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, have vowed to crack down on agents selling the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, registration forms above the recommended price of N4,000.

 

 

 

 

 

Both agencies jointly made the commitment on Tuesday during a stakeholders meeting at the NSCDC headquarters in Sauka, Abuja, following reports of widespread extortion in some centres of the ongoing JAMB registration across the country.

JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, said reports received from persons deployed to monitor the registration exercise was very disturbing, while calling for help from the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp, NSCDC, to curb the menace.

Oloyede warned that unscrupulous agents selling above the prescribed price of N3,500 for the forms, and N500 for the booklet, risked arrest and prosecution, adding that the board would introduce financial institutions engaged in the sale of the forms to some security devices through which they can track erring sales agents.

The JAMB boss described fraudulent sales agents as enemies of the state and maintained that henceforth, all agents must have the National Identification Number, NIN, so they can be picked up by security agents anytime they are found culpable.

“For every form sold, we pay N210 as 6 per cent commission. What goes to the purse of the government is N3290. Our understanding is that as little as N210 is if you do your arithmetic for about 2 million candidates, it’s a lot of money.

“So we know that that could generate employment and make other people benefit from what is going on but the negative effect now is that there people who procure these forms and want to return to the bad old days where they will still sell at exorbitant prices,” he said.

He disclosed that eleven violators of the sales regulations were sanctioned by JAMB in various parts of the country over allegations of extortion or sale of form above the recommended price of N4000.

Oloyede stressed the Board’s belief in the ability of the NSCDC to assist in making sure that people entrusted with the national responsibility of selling the forms do not extort or allow any of their agents to extort.

He said the board considered the engagement of NSCDC on the bases of the corps’ integrity, adding that since its collaboration with the agency started only a single case of misdemeanour had been recorded.

“We made a national appraisal of what was happening last Saturday and as you as commandants are aware, that many people make illegitimate money from the examination because of the innocence of these young boys and girls.

“Prior to 2018, we used to sell admission documents for N5000. We were making accurate return to the government and government felt that the money was more than expected, therefore let’s return part of it back to the parents; and that is why in 2018 President Muhammadu Buhari decided that the cost should be slashed to N3500.

“But you and I know that prior to the slashing down, even it was N5,000, there were unscrupulous people who were selling for N10000, N15000; they hoard the forms and when students are desperate they will buy at any amount,” he said.

He said the board had democratise the sale of the form by making it available in large quantity to whoever can sell; and so that it will not be possible for two or three banks who are selling it to hoard the form.

He noted that when JAMB took this step, it had some sanitary effect because the forms were available to the candidate at no extra cost; and mobile money operators were brought in to assist when the board found that the banks were overcrowded for the teeming candidates.

He however added that the effect of expanding was that some fraudulent people were still penetrating the groups.

Oloyede condemned the proliferation of tutorial centres across the country as they were training and inducting children into examination malpractice and other frauds including drugs, calling on the corps to focus on them also.

Also speaking, the Commandant General of NSCDC, Muhamadu Gana, charged officials of the NSCDC to remain committed to their course as Nigerians have confidence in them to sanitise the registration process, adding that they would be held accountable.

Gana also urged JAMB to liaise with states ministries of education to limit existence of tutorial centres, while urging the state commandants of NSCDC to visit JAMB state coordinators to be on the same page with them.

Meanwhile, the Delta state Command of the NSCDC paraded a 65-year old man and a younger accomplice for allegedly selling the form for N5500 instead of the N3500 recommended fee.

Delta state, Commandant of the Corps, Benito Eze, said the suspects were arrested in Agbor over extortion of candidates, adding that they were caught in the very act.

Reacting, the Commandant General, Gana, said the suspects would soon be arraigned as all evidences pointed to their involvement in the crime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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