The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board has shut down seven examination centres in Bayelsa over alleged violation of rules and regulations guiding the examinations.
JAMB coordinator in the state, Abdusalam Mohammed, announced the development on Tuesday in Yenagoa when he paid a courtesy call on the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state is now left with only four centres to cater for its 24,000 candidates.
Mohammed explained that some of the centres were de-listed for duplicating the Virtual Private Network (VPN) of their router, a development that compromised the data security of JAMB.
He said that others were shut down for charging outrageous sums during registration.
“When the registration exercise commenced, we sent out a monitoring team who found that candidates were charged N5,000 for a service that should ordinarily cost N2,500,” Mohammed said.
On JAMB’s readiness to conduct examination in the COVID-19 era, Mohammed said that the body was training its staff during the lockdown.
“We also sensitised candidates and provided personal prevention equipment.
“In order to reduce the crowd at our office during registration, we set out specific days that candidates could visit us. The intention was to reduce body contact between staff and candidates.
“Before the outbreak of COVID-19, we used to ask candidates to thumb-print documents, but that has been stopped so as to curtail the spread of the virus.
“We have replaced that with a One-Time Password (OTP), which is sent to the candidate. The OTP will verify the candidate and confirm if he or she is the original owner of that particular application.
“In the past, it was difficult to have 20,000 candidates for JAMB, but this year, the number has skyrocketed to 24,000 candidates, meaning that there is an improvement in the enrolment of students in Bayelsa.
“Unfortunately, awareness of our activities is low in Bayelsa. That is why we have come to visit you,” Mohammed explained.
Responding, the Chairman of NUJ, Samuel Numonengi, frowned at the activities of the operators of the examination centres de-listed, saying that their actions were detrimental to progress in the state.
“We cannot stand people jeopardising the future of our children in Bayelsa.
“I want to join you to condemn their actions and encourage parents and candidates to stand up against any form of infraction perpetrated by these individuals that have questionable character.
“In the past, JAMB had a strong synergy with journalists, but that relationship is weak now. So, I want to encourage you to build that synergy so as to educate our people and shore up our fortunes,” he said.