JAMB To ‘extend’ Registration Deadline As Candidates Grapple With Difficulties

Barring last minute change, the Joint
Admissions and Matriculation Board
will announce the extension of the
deadline for the ongoing registration for
its 2021 unified tertiary matriculation
examination (UTME) and the direct entry
(DE) programme.

This decision may not be unconnected
to the difficulties being experienced by
candidates in their attempts to generate
the required codes towards setting up
profiles using their unique national
identification number (NIN).

PREMIUM TIMES has exclusively learnt
that as of Wednesday afternoon, roughly
72 hours to the May 15 deadline set by
the examination body, only 1,012,000
candidates have so far registered for the
UTME and about 30,000 candidates for
the DE programme.

This figure is low when compared to
about 1.9 million UTME and 200,000 DE
candidates already captured within the
same period in 2020.

Investigations revealed that as of
Wednesday about 600,000 prospective
candidates, who have initiated the
registration process, are yet to receive
the required codes meant to be
transported to their mobile lines by the
network operators.

Some officials of the examination body,
who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES
confidentially, claiming they were not
authorised to speak on the matter, said
the problem is caused by the adoption
of the mandatory use of NIN for the

“The National Identity Management
Commission (NIMC) that is responsible
for the issuance of NIN is expected to
generate the linked number to be
transported to candidates as soon as
they input their required USSD code.

But this has been difficult for the agency
due largely to inadequate manpower
and lack of required technical skill,” one
of the sources told our reporter on the

Another source blamed the mobile
telecommunication operators for the
delayed response to transporting codes
generated to candidates, saying this is
the worst outing being recorded by
JAMB since the adoption of the USSD
system in its registration.
Some ad hoc staffers of the
examination body, who were meant to
register using the same procedure
ahead of the examination, have also
expressed frustration in their attempts to
be registered for the exercise.

“We keep sending the codes to 55019
as instructed by JAMB but the response
is always that it is being processed and
that we should await SMS. But the SMS
never comes even after more than 48
hours. I can now imagine the problem
the prospective candidates are going
through,” an ad hoc staffer who does
not want to be quoted told our reporter
on the phone.

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Meanwhile, a parent, Bassey Udo, who
was trying to change his son’s course of
study for the ongoing 2020 admission at
a university, told our reporter on the
phone that even after paying the
required fee, the one-time password
(OTP) required to complete the
transaction has not been received for
more than three days.

“Till now we cannot complete the
transaction. I spoke to MTN and I was
asked if I had activated the “Do not
disturb” system on my line. But they
found out I did not. So they concluded
there was no basis not to receive a
message from a third party. But still, the
situation has remained the same. I don’t
know what would be the fate of this boy if we are unable to complete the task,”
Mr Udo told our reporter.

JAMB keeps mum
Meanwhile, the director of public affairs
and protocol for the examination body,
Fabian Benjamin, refused to comment
on the matter.

He said he would respond to PREMIUM
TIMES’ enquiry ‘soon’. His promised
response, however, did not come as of
the time of filing this report.
It would be recalled that JAMB had
earlier scheduled its mock examination
for April 30 but later rescheduled it to
hold on May 20. The abrupt change
might not be unconnected with the
difficulties being experienced in the
registration exercise.

Meanwhile, a highly placed source in the
agency who does not want to be
mentioned told this newspaper that the
best solution would have been to waive
the use of NIN for candidates.
“If we do that, I can assure you that in
two days the whole exercise would be
completed. But we cannot because the
Ministry of communication and digital
Economy was impressed by our efforts
and has even written appreciation to our
supervising ministry and also to the
federal executive council. So we cannot
backtrack on that for now,” the source

The examination body is billed to meet
with ‘stakeholders’ including members
of various groups such as civil societies
and media ahead of the examination.

Related:   JAMB Bans Parents From UTME Venues

One of such meetings is billed to hold
on Friday, May 14, where the JAMB
registrar, Is-haq Oloyede, is expected to
address the groups. He may use the
avenue to announce the deadline

Network operators deny culpability
Meanwhile, the mobile network
operators have denied being responsible
for the challenges being faced by
candidates in their efforts to be
registered for the examination.

The operators’ umbrella body-
Association of Licenced
Telecommunications Operators in
Nigeria (ALTON) said its role is ”simply
to transport the codes to the candidates
and not to generate”.

In his response to our reporter’s
enquiries, the association’s chairman,
Gbenga Adebayo, said the delays
cannot be from the systems of the
telecommunication companies.

“Telecommunication companies don’t
manage the process of generating the
code for candidates, we only provide the
“transport” access to their servers and
we rely on the examinations agency to
generate the code. We don’t manage
their database and as such we’re not
responsible for generating the said
examination code,” Mr. Adebayo said.

When confronted with the claim of the
existing generated codes ”yet to be
transported”, Mr Adebayo said; “If the
codes are generated and their servers do
not upload them to the operators, there
would be nothing on the link to deliver.

Operators are just a medium of
transport, and if their servers don’t
deliver the codes, the link (transport)
will be empty. Maybe there’s something
they’re not saying. Ask them again and
let them show a proof!”

NIMC fails to respond
When reached for reaction, the
authorities at the National Identity
Management Commission (NIMC) failed
to respond.

The agency’s head of corporate
communications department, Jamila
Ahmed, who failed to pick many calls
sent to her telephone line later
responded to our reporter’s message
that she was on leave.

Ms Ahmed also directed our reporter to
speak to a man identified simply as

But efforts to reach Mr Kayode were not
successful as his provided mobile
telephone line did not go through. A
message sent to the number was yet to
be replied as of the time of filing this

Jamb Computer Based Test Ibadan
Pic Candidates queuing to gain access intone of the designated halls for the on-going 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculations Examinations (UTME) Computer Based Test at Educational Advancement Centre, Bodija, Ibadan on Monday (15/5/17).
02568/15/5/17/Timothy Adeogodiran/JAU/ICE/NAN

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