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The recent announcement by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) that it has suspended the University of Benin’s information communication technology (ICT) Computer Based Test (CBT) centre and several others found to have breached the code governing the 2019 registration exercise is no more news.
Rather, a new report released by Business Hilights Intelligence Unit (BHIU), shows that virtually all the CBT centres across the federation breach agreed charges in varying degrees.
It would be recalled that before the commencement of sale of the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) application forms, JAMB convened a meeting of all CBT operators in Lagos. Guidelines were extensively deliberated on and laid out for all to adhere to strictly.
Key in the guidelines include the directive of the federal government for the 2019 e-pins to be sold at N3,500, excluding the cost of the reading text, to ensure absolute compliance.
Both JAMB and accredited CBT centre operators clearly resolved that the cost of registration should not exceed N700 and candidates should be guided properly on the processes and offer free assistance when and where the need arises.
However, an undercover investigation by Business Hilights Intelligence Unit (BHIU) in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Imo and Rivers States showed that CBT centres; “In order to escape the wrath of JAMB monitoring team, majority of the CBT centre operators have devised a smart money laundering tactics to milk prospective JAMB candidates.”
“The CBT centres now collide with unaccredited Business Centres within their jurisdictions to charge candidates from N7,000 more than the approved price for filling of forms and ask them to send sms to 55019 to get Profile Code and UTME pin. Immediately the candidate gets the reply sms, the Business centre will then him or her to proceed to another office, now the real CBT centre where he or she will not pay again unless he wants to pay for express service to save his or her time on the cue.
“With both, they are asked to move straight to the main JAMB accredited CBT centre after the Business Centres had sent their filled forms to the centre for final registration and capturing.
“The entire process where candidates were deceived into visiting planted business centres and paying more than stipulated by JAMB before heading to the real CBT centre can best be described as laundering scam of the century.
“Random checks around Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano and Abuja showed that not up to two in ten CBT centres do not run this ring of breach and corrupt process.
It would be recalled that JAMB spokesman, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, has in a statement in Abuja, disclosed that the suspended CBT centres were charging higher than the stipulated figure directed by the Federal Government, which they all agreed to abide by.
He said the board was disappointed with the act of the CBT centre operators and chose to suspend them from the 2019 exercise; to serve as deterrent to others who might be nursing such ideas.
According to him, JAMB is also monitoring closely the activities of about 10 centres in Lagos and Plateau states; whose activities were being questioned.
The agency averred that “In addition to that, JAMB management would meet as soon as possible to take appropriate action on the suspended centres. It will also take measures to strengthen its monitoring system to ensure Nigerians are not misled by unpatriotic operators”.
Business Hilights is an online news channel conceptualized and structured to report and track on a daily basis; latest developments in critical business sectors to serve as a one stop news gateway for governments, foreign and indigenous investors.