The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has begun the biometric verification of the 1.8 candidates who sat for this year’s unified tertiary matriculation examination, it was learnt yesterday.
It was further learnt that the exercise embarked upon by the board, was responsible for the delay in releasing the UTME results conducted from April 11 to April 18.
The board has already carried out biometric verification of candidates in 31 states.
It is presently verifying those of candidates from six other states, The Nation further learnt.
JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, confirmed this to our reporter in an interview, yesterday in Abuja.
He said the board was cross-checking everything pertaining to the conduct of the examination, including fingerprints of candidates.
Prof. Oloyede, who did not list the states the board has so far verified the fingerprints of candidates, said: “We are cross-checking everything, including fingers. If you know that you have about 1.8 candidates multiplied by ten that is the finger we are talking about.
“If you are very close to National Identity Card Management Commission (NIMC), ask them what it takes to analyse finger prints in terms of period.
“We are combining 1.8 million ten fingers with one another to be sure that we identify people who combine fingers and so on. That is where we are now.
“We have done all other and now we have about six states to go. As I speak with you I am at a retreat with those who are doing it. We have about six states to go. We have done 31 states and six states are still not completed now.”
Asked when the board would release the result of the UTME, the registrar said: “I don’t know but it will be very soon. As soon as we complete what we are doing.”
The registrar denied reports that the board may cancel half of the results of states found to have been involved in malpractice during the examination.
When asked which state was affected most by malpractice this year, he said: “I don’t know. I cannot say which state because I don’t know. It is not just issue of malpractice.”
Oloyede said there was nothing wrong with the board’s server, adding that the board was cleaning up the rot in the education system.
He said: “There is no problem at all but everything must be done thoroughly and that is what we are doing. There is no problem. All the rumour about problem is a lie and I would not tell a whole nation what is not true. I can’t put my integrity on line. There is no problem at all.
“We are doing what we set to do and it is a scientific thing and there is no way I can expedite it beyond this. I t is taking human and material resources but we must do it. Somebody must standup against this rot. That’s all.”
Oloyede also said the board would probe alleged involvement of some of its staff who connived with some computer based test centre operators to perpetrate malpractice during the examination.
The registrar said: “Where staff members are identified to have been involved, if there are reported cases, we will investigate. There are one or two cases that are very obvious and we are taking action because as we appoint our staff and other ad-hoc, we appointed some eminent Nigerians to monitor the monitors and we have analysed their reports.
“Where an ad hoc or permanent staff is alleged to have done what he or she is not supposed to do we will take the normal process and procedure.”
Some UTME candidates have appealed to the examination body to release their results.
The candidates spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Bwari.
The Board, has repeatedly said that it would take its time to screen the results because of the several infractions dicovered during the exercise.
Madueke John, a candidate said that the long wait for the results has held some of the candidates back, while also causing a lot of tension.
He said: “With everything we are hearing from JAMB and other media reports we are getting, we are tensed. I know I did not do anything that will incriminate me during the exams but the entire process this time around has really changed.
“If JAMB, while screening, discovered those who are innocent, why don’t they release those ones and continue screening others, seriously, this is taking forever.
“I really don’t know what to expect again, but please, they should just focus on this year’s exercise and release at least parts of the results to reduce the tension.”
Another candidate, Henrietta Adams, said that the board is undoubtedly doing what it deemed best for the country.
She, however, added that it would also do a lot of good if some of the results are released.
Adam added that the long wait has caused some of the candidates to be unsure of what may happen at the end of the day.
She said: “Even if you are sure you did not commit any malpractice during the exercise, with the way the entire process is going, one is forced to start thinking if one’s result will be held for mere turning his or her head during the examination.
“I truly don’t know what to say or expect again, I am just confused, if at least some results were released in parts like last year, then at least, one will be hopeful but as it is, only God knows what they may come up with next. We will continue to wait but please JAMB, do something soonest.”
Mr Joseph Onimisi, a candidate’s parent, commended the board for exposing some of the corruption in the system, but advised that parts of the results be released too.
This, he said would reduce the criticism of the board by those skeptical of the intention of the board, adding that the entire process may take longer than the board expected.