Ahead of the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has reached a deal with the Nigerian Army to secure the the Computer Based Tests (CBT) centres with a view to having a hitch free examination.
A statement issued on Thursday by the spokesperson of JAMB, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, said the Registrar/Chief Executive of JAMB, Prof. Is-haq O. Oloyede, at a meeting with the military high command in Abuja solicited for the intervention and cooperation of the Nigerian Army in the forth coming examination.
While commending the Nigerian Army for uniting the country particularly the feat it recorded in the insurgency war and restoring peace in other turbulent areas, Oloyede outlined his mission to Defence Headquarters.
He said, "We are here to thank you for the wonderful job you have been doing, all Nigerians are happy with you for the wonderful feat you have recorded in the discharge of your duties, and your quest for an indivisible and united country."
He pointed out that the mandate of JAMB was to conduct matriculation examination and place suitably qualified candidates desirous of qualitative education to all Nigerian tertiary institutions adding that the Board was at the verge of the first process hence the need to secure the venues, candidates and examination officials.
"This need became imperative to seek for security intervention from the Army, particularly in turbulent areas", he said.
The Registrar noted that over 678 centres across the country against the last year's figure of 650 CBT centres would be put to use with estimated 1.5million candidates for the examination, adding that 1.237million candidates have already submitted their application already.
Oloyede also told the Chief of Army staff that there was collaboration with Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) to airlift candidates in riverine areas to their CBT centres.
He pleaded that the COAS intervene as the NLNG intervention though noble was not enough.
The JAMB Registrar while listing some security prone areas like North East, South South among others, noted that the process of seeking admission through the conduct of examination should not be truncated, adding that the sight of security presence during the examination would give the candidate a high level of satisfaction and confidence.
He informed the Army management that this year the Board is capturing candidates ten fingers to forestall any incidence of multiple registration as noticed with previous years registration.
Oloyede said the Board also insisted on profile creation and other processes to strengthen the education data and ensure that candidates do not go through hell years after graduating from tertiary institutions.
In his remark the Chief of Army staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, described the visit as unique and symbolic stating that the military would ensure that there is peace and harmony in the country.
The COAS said as part of their constitutional responsibility the Nigerian Army would continue to uphold and make sure that the task given to them is accomplished.
He said some of the flash points pointed by the Registrar are not only safe but habitable and he disclosed that normalcy, particularly in the North east has return even as he promised to deploy troop for more surveillance and protection during the period stated for the examination.
The Chief of Training and operations was directed to liaise with officers and men on ground to strengthen the security of the centres and officials particularly those in turbulent states.