retreat on monitoring and supervision of 2017 UTME held at Arewa House,
Kaduna delivered a speech concerning the 2017 JAMB UTME.
Read the text below:
On behalf of the Management and staff of the Joint Admissions and
Matriculation Board, I happily welcome participants to this Strategic
Planning Retreat on the Structure of Supervision and Evaluation of the
Conduct of the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
When we sent out invitation to you and gave you a very short notice, we
were skeptical on your finding time out of your tight schedules to
honour our invitation.
However, this large turnout has further confirmed our identification and
choice of you as critical stakeholders with genuine and undiluted
interest in this Nation’s education sector in general and in its
assessment and evaluation sub-sector in particular where the Joint
Admissions and Matriculation Board plays a major role. I therefore thank
you and appreciate your presence here today.
Before I go further, please permit me to pay tributes to my illustrious
predecessors in office. We pray that the soul of Mr. Michael S. Angulu
continue to enjoy eternal rest. Mr. Angulu as the first Registrar of the
Board laid the foundation on which his successors have continued to
build on. I salute Dr. Mohammed Abdulrahman, OON for the strong pillars
built on the initial foundation and for the strong commitment at
domesticating and internalizing various major activities that were
hitherto carried out abroad.
I congratulate Professor Bello A. Salim, OFR for the various innovations
introduced into the system and for starting online activities,
particularly in the registration process and the introduction of
external monitors in the conduct of the Board’s examination. I commend
Professor Adedibu Ojerinde, OON for taking the bull by the horn with the
introduction of the Computer Based Test (CBT) to replace the Paper and
Pencil Test (PPT) in the administration of the Board’s examination.
I am not unmindful of the acting tenures of Dr. Saleh Abubakar and Dr.
Peter I. Odor for which they are all commended. There are many retired
Directors of the Board who have been invited to this Retreat and who
have graciously honoured us with their attendance. I congratulate you
all and others who are not here on your modest efforts. You have all
served your fatherland meritoriously and the Nation is proud of you.
2.0 IDEALS OF THE JOINT ADMISSIONS AND MATRICULATION BOARD
On my assumption of office as the fifth (5th) Registrar of the Board, I
pledged to revisit and revamp the original ideals of those who thought
it most appropriate to have a body like this Board and to pursue with
vigour and passion their original objectives. I therefore salute the
vision of the Vice-Chancellors of the then six (6) Universities who
introduced the idea of synergy of their mandate in the areas of entrance
examination and admission into the few universities that the Nation
If synergy, peer review, cost saving, elimination of wastage,
collaboration, cooperation and enhancement of academic excellence were
identified and recorgnised then with only six Universities, these
salient attributes, ideas and ideals are now more than ever before the
basic of all requirements that are most critical for the integration and
cohesion of the Nation’s Tertiary Education.
Though a lot of water has passed under the bridge between 1977 and
today, the idea of inclusiveness is still as germane today as it was
many years back. This is why between August 2016 when I assumed duties
and this month, March, 2017, a period of eight months, I have visited
various Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, where
I have met with the Management of the various institutions in order to
renew and restrengthen our relationship and partnership. The Managements
of the Board has also met with the Committee of Vice-Chancellors,
Committee of Rectors and Committee of Provosts. We have equally met with
the Management of National Universities Commission (NUC) and National
Youth Service Corps (NYSC). We have taken the Board’s major events and
activities to the Bayero University, Kano, Baze University, Abuja, Alvan
Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, University of Lagos, and
A few weeks ago in February, 2017, we held a retreat in Abeokuta, Ogun
State where we were guest of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who as
Head of State in 1977 promulgated the enabling law of the this Board and
gave birth to the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board. At the
retreat, we looked at the processes of registration and admission, we
reviewed them and we adopted new strategies in tandem with new thinking
and new challenges.
It is therefore in our stride and continuation at bringing all
stakeholders on board our inclusive train that we have organised this
retreat to take another look at the Board’s supervision and evaluation
of its conduct of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The aim of this retreat is to adopt an all-inclusive mode of examination
supervision and evaluation. Recognising the stakeholding of major
players in the Tertiary Education Sector, the Board wishes to give
operational responsibilities to the major players in the administration
of the Board’s examination.
It is not enough for Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) to visit
examination centres with sirens and large entourage of government
functionaries with very little impact to show for their participation,
other than to be under television camera lights and beamed same to the
whole world but yet, the outcome of the examination is laced with
stories of examination malpractice. This time around, the major players
with requisite integrity, intelligence and appropriate knowledge of the
assessment would be fully engaged to actively participate in the
supervision of the examination.
3.0 INCLUSIVE APPROACH TO SALE OF APPLICATION DOCUMENTS
As part of our approach to the ideal of Inclusiveness, we invited all
Central Bank of Nigeria approved commercial banks to participate in the
sale of the 2017 Board’s Application Documents. Sixteen (16) commercial
banks and NIPOST honoured attended the interactive session where we
explained the reason and need for all of them to partake in the
After the interactive session, thirteen (13) banks including NIPOST
signified interest to participate in the sale of the 2017 Application
Documents. Between the date of commencement of sale on Monday, 20th
March and yesterday, Tuesday, 28th March, 2017, the following nine banks
have paid for the number of Application Documents they require in the
The banks are:
(i) Zenith Bank
(ii) Union Bank
(iii) Sterling Bank
(iv) Unity Bank
(v) First City Monument Bank
(vi) Fidelity Bank
(vii) First Bank
(viii) Skye Bank
(ix) Jaiz Bank
Still in the spirit of our All-Inclusive approach, backed by our
sincerity of intent and purpose, honesty, integrity and truthfulness and
with the sole aim and objective of reaching out to all nooks and
crannies both in urban and rural areas, we had to patronise the NIPOST, a
sister agency, which has the reach out to very remote towns and
Even when NIPOST could not raise the capital to purchase the pins for
the Application Documents, we had to open a credit line for NIPOST to
also vend pin and pay later without reducing the commission that the
organisation is entitled to per sale of document.
No bank needed to know the Registrar or any Management member or anybody
at all before being patronised. Rather every bank was given the
opportunity to participate. We are actually for everybody and belong to
4.0 PIN VENDING SYSTEM
Emerging from the retreat at Abeokuta, the Board has innovated a
contemporary sale of application method, which has led to the
elimination of scratch cards. The Board has adopted a cost saving
procedure PIN Vending System. It is a secured system which has redressed
the sharp practices associated with the use of scratch cards.
We are aware of the teething problems attendant to the introduction of
the new sale format, and as a responsive body, we have taken steps to
ease the challenges and in a few days, the results would be a seamless
registration exercise all over the country.
5.0 SUPERVISION OF THE UNIFIED TERTIARY MATRICULATION EXAMINATION
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has no university of its
own. It is our desire that all concerned should take the UTME as their
own and make it a project. The process and product of the examinee would
end up in our various tertiary institutions and as such, we should be
mindful of this process.
Whatever level of preparation carried out by us towards the conduct of
the 2017 examination, if it is not well supervised, it will not produce
the kind of results we expect.
The Board is using this retreat to place a clarion call to all
stakeholders to ensure that all hands are on deck to make the conduct of
public examination better.
The conduct of the Board’s examination which is a selection examination
is the foundation of the quality of education in Nigeria. In view of
this, I urge you to see Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and
your involvement as a call to national duty and personal sacrifice.
I therefore urge all stakeholders especially our tertiary institutions
to be actively involved in the supervision of the Board’s examination
which will at the end benefit all and boost the quality of candidates
that will be admitted into various institutions.
No sacrifice in this regards would be too big or too small to make by
you and all Nigerians, as no amount can be paid to you that is worth
6.0 EXAMINATION SCHEDULES
A large number of candidates who register for the Board’s examination
are those who are also taking their Senior School Certificate
These candidates sit for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination
usually need in March/April when they have not completed the syllabus of
the public examinations. This contributes to some extent to the dismal
performance of the candidates in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation
What we have done this year is to ensure that the examination is
scheduled in such a way that the candidates would be prepared and ready
for both UTME and SSCE.
To achieve this, we met with other sister examination bodies and
streamlined our timetables not only to ensure that candidates are
prepared but also to avoid any clash of examination dates.
7.0 USE OF EIGHT KEYS WITHOUT A MOUSE
From the general feedback on the adoption of the Computer Based Test
mode, we have noted the challenge of computer low level literacy of some
candidates, especially with the phobia for the mouse.
This has been responsible partly for the call by some people for
reversal to the Paper and Pencil Test mode. In order to ensure equity
and level playground for all candidates taking the Unified Tertiary
Matriculation Examination, the Board has designed a system that will
allow candidates use only eight (8) keys without the use of the mouse.
All the candidates need to do is to press the letters A,B,C,D for responses (answer) to questions and keys:
P = Previous question
N = Next question
S = Submit responses when candidate has finished examination
R = Reverse (do not intend to go further to submit again)
8.0 EQUAL DISTRIBUTION OF CANDIDATES TO CENTRES
Following the standardisation of the Computer Based Test (CBT) centres
in terms of carrying capacity of two hundred and fifty (250), candidates
would be distributed evenly to all centres without any discrimination.
No Centre would be favoured and no Centre would be discriminated
The examination Schedule, Timetable and Sessions have all been designed,
streamlined and syncronised for the examination to start and end on the
same day, except otherwise dictated by the number of candidates in a
few states with low subscription.
9.0 NEW TRAINING MANUAL, FORMS AND ORGANOGRAM OF EXAMINATION OFFICIALS
From this year, the Board has automated different reporting forms for
examination officials. These forms have been reviewed such that they are
now designed to be responsive to issues at centres to serve as a quick
signal for both the examination and Centre situations.
A new structure has also been put in place for the administration of the
examination. We have introduced officials such as the Chief External
Examiners, Zonal External Examiners, External Examiners, Peace Monitors
All these categories of officials and their roles would be explained in
the presentation that would follow shortly after these introduction and
10.0 AFFIRMATIVE INCLUSIVENESS FOR THE BLIND CANDIDATES
Please permit me, once again to salute and appreciate my predecessors in
office for all the efforts that they put in place to take the Board to
its present height. In particular, we note their efforts, commitment and
passion for the candidates with different ability, especially the blind
candidates. A lot of resources is committed every year for the conduct
of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination for the blind
Meanwhile, in order to amplify the past efforts and also expand the
frontiers of equity and inclusiveness, we have met with the Executive
Committee of the Association of Blind Persons in Nigeria at the Board’s
Headquarters in Abuja in February 2017 and we also met with prospective
blind candidates from a school for the blind in Lagos about two weeks
ago at the University of Lagos.
The outcome of these meetings revealed that, while the challenged group
fully appreciates the Board’s recent efforts at improving and upgrading
the facilities for the administration of the Board’s examination for the
blind candidates, with the purchase of sophisticated and expensive
Braille Apex equipment, the paradox of it, is that we have put majority
of the blind candidates at a disadvantage as many of them have never
been exposed to these latest gadgets in the various schools.
Though, the Board also made efforts at training the blind candidates on
the equipment before the examination, it is apparent that the two days
to one week training and exposure to the sophisticated gadgets are
inadequate and have little impact on them before the examination. The
Association pleaded that the Board takes another look at our approach in
order to have value for the resources that we are committing to their
teaching, learning and assessment.
Firstly after our interaction, the Board appealed to some universities
and other tertiary institutions to admit all the blind candidates that
met the minimum requirement for registration in the 2016 Unified
Tertiary Matriculation Examination and I am happy to inform this august
gathering that all candidates who fall into this category have been
admitted. I thank the Vice Chancellors and Provosts who graciously
partnered with us to admit the blind candidates into their institutions.
Secondly, the Board has approached the Digital Bridge Institute to
partner with it to set up Visually Impaired Candidates centres where the
blind candidates can be trained all year round and which can also serve
as examination centres for them. The Institute has agreed to set up
these dedicated centres in Abuja, Lagos and Kano in 2018 and the Board
will support the centres with all necessary inputs that would make
teaching, learning and assessment at the centres seamless.
The centres would also have residential accommodation for the blind candidates and their guides.
Thirdly, having noted the complaints of the Association and looking
forward to 2018 when the project of dedicated centres would come to
fruition, the Board has reached an understanding with the Association
for the Blind Persons in Nigeria and Blind students in Lagos, that an
abridged approach would be used for the 2017 Unified Tertiary
Matriculation Examination, whereby, all prospective blind candidates
would be invited to three centres in the country for special assessment
in their subjects of choice that are relevant to their desired courses
The Board is reaching out to academics and counsellors in special
education to handle this special assessment with each candidate.
The session would be interactive with the purview covering the Use of
English and three subjects, just like the sighted candidate. The
assessment would be scored and each candidate would be given his or her
score. The outcome of the exercise and the ordinary level results in the
Senior School Certificate Examination will form the basis for the
recommendation of these candidates to the various tertiary institutions
of their choices.
In addition, the Board shall be responsible for the transportation and accommodation of every blind candidate and one guide.
These affirmative actions of the Board for the differently abled persons
are also part of our all-inclusive approach to all comers. Again and
indeed, we are for everybody.
11.0 AWAITING RESULT
For the umpteenth time, I would want to use this opportunity to
emphasize that awaiting result candidates are eligible to register and
sit for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.
However, they would not be considered for admission on awaiting result
status. The Board urges all candidates desirous of admission to upload
their O’ level results on the Board’s portal the moment they receive
them and before the commencement of admission exercise as their O’ level
results would form a crucial part of their registration requirements.
In conclusion, this retreat’s objective is hinged on sensitisation of
key stakeholders and on your responsibilities, not only to the Board but
to the Nigerian Nation and to also alert you to the readiness of the
Board’s enhanced inclusiveness in our approach at reassuring you that we
are on this journey together and together we shall succeed.
Let me again thank you all for honouring our invitation to be here
today. Your sacrifice to participate and contribute to the fine-tuning
of the supervision and evaluation of the Board’s examination are clear
demonstration of your deep interest in the development of education in
We are determined to make a change with this examination as we are aware
of the strategic role our examination plays in deciding the direction
of tertiary education in Nigeria. We appeal to you all to give us the
At the end the various remarks, presentations, interaction and comments,
we shall be breaking into syndicate groups where each cluster would
discuss in deeper details the expected roles and obligations of each
examination official. The guiding principle would be to formulate ideas
and map out strategies that would ensure the maintenance and sustenance
of the integrity of the Board’s examination and the sanctity of its