Determined to prevent extortion of candidates in the ongoing sale of the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE) application documents, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) met recently with ePIN vending outlets on ways to curb the rampant extortion of unsuspecting candidates by agents (tellers) of the outlets.
The stakeholders’ meeting took place recently at the Headquarters of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) with all state commandants and all the ePIN vending outlets in attendance.
The participants were summoned to the meeting to brainstorm on ways to stop sharp practices that were capable of undermining the noble objective of the Federal Government.
Prof. Oloyede recalled that prior to 2019, application documents were sold for N5,000. The government, in its effort to alleviating the burden of acquiring tertiary education on parents, slashed the price to N3,500 and directed immediate compliance.
However, it is unfortunate that after all compromises by way of giving vendors a hefty commission, certain unpatriotic agents could still be exploiting the candidates. The registrar disclosed that from reports reaching him, some unscrupulous persons sold and are still selling the UTME application documents for as much as N5, 000 to N10, 000.
He stated that prior to democratising the sale of the forms through bringing in more vendors, some operators were noted for hoarding and selling the ePINs at exorbitant prices.
Oloyede said, “The effect of the expansion is that we are making the forms (ePINs) available to more vendors through unlimited access. It is, however, regrettable to note that many fraudulent elements are penetrating these outlets to extort money from the candidates. The deal with designated banks was that for every ePIN sold, a commission of N210 would be given to the bank and what goes to the account of government is N3290.”
The JAMB boss appealed to the NSCDC to assist the board in the monitoring of the registration process to protect candidates from being exploited.
Prof. Oloyede, while giving the breakdown of the summation of the cost of the application documents said the application document is N3,500, while the prescribed reading text is N500 bringing it to a total of N4,000. He added that N700 is approved as a CBT center service charge for each registration.
The registrar told the gathering that he had credible reports of some agents collecting N4,600 to N8,000 from candidates as well as an additional N700 for registration.
According to him, the licenses of all those involved in the act had been withdrawn and they would be prosecuted. The centers involved in the sharp practices and which licenses had been withdrawn included: Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, Adamawa State and Adazi-Nnukwu ICT/CBT, Centre.
Others were New Kings and Queens, Bayelsa State; Brightfield Secondary School, Delta State; A-Pagen Consolidated, Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Influential School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Emkenlyn Computers and Nneamaka Secondary School, Anambra State.
In his remarks, the Commandant General of the NSCDC, Muhammadu Gana, charged the officers and men of the corps to see their collaboration in the registration exercise as a national call to duty and urged them to be vigilant and dedicated to the project.
The CG, NSCDC, told the officers that the state commandants would be held responsible in case of any breach or infraction(s) noticed at the various registration points.
His words: “JAMB has confidence in you, Nigerians have confidence in you, do not betray that confidence. Let integrity be your watchword.”