The JAMB fraud allegations against members of the Computer Based Test Centre Proprietors Association of Nigeria (CPAN) by the Registrar JAMB, Professor Ishaq Oloyede have received stern condemnation by the management of the association.
The JAMB fraud allegations were levelled against CPAN members as aiding and abetting examination malpractice during the just concluded exercise.
Speaking on the matter at a press briefing in Lagos, Mr. Austin Ohaekelem, Media Coordinator, said the members felt very hurt and sad after helping JAMB achieve a most outstanding success in its 40-year history, all they could get was a brutal name calling and castigation on radio, TV programmes and the pages of newspapers. “We are mainly men and women of integrity who will not support examination irregularities. We condemn it in the strongest term and completely dissociate ourselves from it. We challenge JAMB to make public the names of those private CBT centres that were involved in examination malpractices and to immediately commence their prosecution.”
He explained that the terms of engagement of the 2017 UTME Examinations clearly defined CBT centre owners’ role as to provide facilities for the exams only and never to meddle with the supervision of the exams.
According to him, JAMB deployed three of their staff, three staff (proctors) from tertiary institutions, two National Youth Service Corps members and two NSCDC personnel to supervise and monitor each centre during the examination, making a total of ten personnel in each of the 642 centres nationwide. The task of supervising and invigilating the exams lay squarely in the hands of the personnel as deployed.
Ohaekelem said further that there were IP enabled CCTV cameras in all the centres as instructed by JAMB which mounted surveillance in and around the examination centres. Activities that took place throughout the duration of the examination were all recorded and a playback feature was enabled as instructed.
“With all these human and electronic surveillance systems, JAMB is equipped enough to fish out all those behind the spate of criminal actions as noted rather than passing sweeping verdict on CBT centres. If there were examination malpractices, then it happened before his team of proctors and security personnel and they should therefore be held responsible, not CBT centre owners”.
In the petition to the National Assembly on the JAMB fraud allegations, CPAN detailed how each operator invested more than N2 million to overcome the technical challenges in each centre nationwide and how a cumulative investments from the 400 private centres would be wasted if the crises is not speedily resolved. “Having done the needful by helping JAMB and Nigeria attain an enviable reputation in using technology to drive assessment, the National Assembly should rise to this challenge and protect us and our investments”, Ohaekelem added.
According to Ohaekelem, JAMB engaged us in a N53, 000.00 router deal; following a pledge by the registrar to allow us recoup such payment through privileged one year access to handle all JAMB related services to candidates. Unfortunately, we were restricted from having access to candidates’ data correction service which rather went on at JAMB state offices.
Jamb denied ever commencing data correction when there is plethora of evidence to show that they have received payment and rendered such services before and after the pronouncement.
For the association, the N600 per candidate payment made to CBT centre owners by JAMB is grossly inadequate as it will take about 20 years to recoup investments made on a CBT centre project, using the current cost analysis.
Ohakelem pointed out that JAMB is already using the JAMB fraud allegations to woo privileged individuals and organisations to build Mega CBT Centres for future UTME examinations and possibly do away with the nearly N20 billion cumulative investments from over 400 private CBT centres nationwide.
He appealed to JAMB to use existing centres by encouraging them to increase their capacities and improve on efficiency while adopting carrot and stick approach to reward good centres by giving them more candidates while denying defaulting ones accreditation. Above all, JAMB should indeed congratulate us for helping them succeed in 2017 UTME Examinations, he concluded.