TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has announced that the state government will henceforth pay the fees for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) of Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) forms for all indigenes and non-indigenes in the state.
Governor Wike said that the gesture of the state government would commence with the 2020 UTME to be conducted by JAMB.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the Registrar of JAMB at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said that Rivers government was committed to ensuring that the less-privileged students are not denied the opportunity to sit for the examination.
He said: “From 2020, UTME forms for indigenes and non-indigenes will be paid for by the Rivers State Government. It is important for us to ensure that children of the less-privileged don’t bear this burden.
“This offer is to ensure that no qualified candidate is denied the opportunity to write the UTME. For some parents, the fee is nothing, but there are families that cannot afford the fees.”
The governor also announced the allocation of land at the Greater Port Harcourt City to JAMB for the construction of its zonal office.
He allocated a block of offices to JAMB as their temporary office in the state, following the dilapidation of the current office. He also donated an operational vehicle to JAMB in the state.
Registrar of JAMB, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, commended the state governor for his commitment to the development of education, especially his abolition of fees in secondary and primary schools in the state.
He appealed to the Rivers governor to allocate a temporary office to JAMB for its daily operations as the current office had totally degenerated.
He said that in view of the number of candidates writing UTME in the state, JAMB requires land to construct a mega computer-based test centre in the state.
“There are only 12 Computer-Based-Test centres in Rivers State. This number is grossly inadequate. We urge Your Excellency to allocate land for JAMB to construct a mega computer-based test centre for at least 500 candidates.
“You are the closest governor to JAMB. Rise and help us. Funding is no longer our problem. We retain N2 billion annually from our internally-generated revenue,” he said.