By Emma Peters
Applicants of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, have deserted Cyber cafés in Bwari, Abuja, as the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, on Thursday commenced the 2019/20 registration.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that JAMB commenced the online registration in its Computer Based Test, CBT, centres across the country.
NAN reports that the Board’s Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, said recently that it would stop the use of cyber cafés for registration of candidates, to stop extortion of candidates by these outlets.
Prof. Oloyede said that the stoppage of these commercial vendors would also put an end to the mix-up of candidates’ data by the vendors.
NAN checks at some of the major cafes in town, as well as the JAMB’s CBT centre in Kogo, showed that while the cafés were abandoned, the CBT centre was making brisk business, as applicants struggled to maintain a queue.
One of the cafe operators, Mathias Ugo, said that all they were left to do for the applicants was to create e-mail address for those who had none, for a negotiable price of N200.
“They would first of all need to create an e-mail address, of which some are not usually aware until they get here; so, some of us are just hanging around to assist them to facilitate the process.
“We also help those who have not uploaded their results on the JAMB website to do so, at the same price.
“I must say, cutting us out from the exercise will affect business greatly, especially for some of us who run cafés close to the CBT centre because, before now, applicants run to us when the hassles to get into the centre get tougher.
“We profited from the exercise and so did desperate applicants; now, they are left with no other alternative,” he said.
An applicant, Jumoke Laolu, who was among the first group of applicants to be admitted into the centre for the exercise, described the process as hard, but organised.
She said: “I came here since 6.00 a.m; we were then given numbers and went in batches. Inside, everything was done in a civil manner and speedily too; except for where the network was a bit slow.
“It is just to get in, once you get in and you have all the requirements, it doesn’t take time to be done with the exercise.”
NAN reports that applicants were to pay N3,500 as cost of registration pin, N500 for Compulsory Reading Text and N700 for service charge, totalling N4, 700, as against the N6, 200, charged the previous year.
NAN also reports that the sale of forms will last for six weeks, while the 2019 UTME is scheduled to commence on March 16.