Some candidates for the 2017 Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), examination have decried the stress and difficulties associated with registration formalities and called for creation of more centres.
The applicants made the appeal in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Eket, Uyo, Calabar, Benin and Port Harcourt areas in the South-South geopolitical zone.
Some applicants in Uyo, Akwa Ibom complained on Friday that the two centres designated for registration in the city were always crowded with applicants seeking for registration.
Miss Blessing Onwineng, an applicant, told NAN that the centres in Uyo, could not cope with influx of applicants, adding that if more centres were created the registration process will be faster.
“When I was doing my registration at JAMB office at Abak road, Uyo, the centres were so crowded and filled to the brim with applicants.
“The applicants pushed and shoved until tables and chairs used by the officials were broken,’’ she said.
Onwineng lamented that the new JAMB registration process was cumbersome when compared to the straight forward regime of previous exercise.
Another applicant, Mr Christopher Imoh, who said that the new JAMB registration process was complex and difficult compared to the previous exercise “where you go to any cyber cafe and thumb print”.
Imoh said: “Now there is a central point where some applicants do their registration and by so doing the crowd control challenges and stress involved are worrisome.
“If JAMB says it is the process, it means that we don’t have any option than to comply because JAMB is an organised body that carried out analysis before choosing the process.”
He also urged applicants to comply with the new process and urged officials to shun corruption in the registration process.
Imoh said that although he was not computer compliant yet he was expected to go to a cyber cafe for help from computer operators to be registered online.
He said that some cyber cafe charge as high as N500 and above to create n online profile for an applicant.
He also complained of incessant network problems encountered at the banks, saying that the difficulty in network connection also slowed the bank registration.
“The banks have restrictions when network problems arise, they encountered difficulties in logging applicants email during the process,” Imoh said.
Paul Oscar, another applicant in Eket, said that JAMB should increase their registration centres in order to reduce crowd at the designated areas.
He lamented that the only centre in Eket Local Government Area, which is a library, was always overcrowded by applicants during the registration process.
Oscar also decried what he called unnecessary running cost during processes of the registration.
Another applicant in Uyo, Ekemini Bassey, who also expressed disappointment in the new JAMB registration described the process as unregimented.
“I can think of a better way to describe a situation where thousands of restless and anxious applicants arrive almost at the same time to register at a particular centre.
“There was pushing and shoving by the adults who should have ensured orderliness and speedy attention,’’ she said.
She outlined the challenges faced by applicants during the registration to include network problem which encouraged application slow down, sometimes making application out rightly impossible and human factor.
She also advised JAMB to encourage parents and guardians to use Point-of-Sale (POS) services at registration venues to speed up applicants’ registration processes.
Bassey advised the banks officials to liaise with JAMB to collect monies at most of the registration centres.
According to her, such arrangement will discourage a situation where several applicants occupy every available space within and around bank premises waiting to be attended to at the same time.
She called on the Stakeholders, Government at all levels, relevant authorities to assist JAMB to solve the persistent overcrowding witnessed at registration centres across the country in 2017.
Similarly, many prospective candidates for the 2017 Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination in Calabar have expressed dissatisfaction with the process of registering for the examination.
The candidates expressed their dissatisfaction in an interview with NAN at a registration centre at Unity Bank, Marian road, Calabar.
A candidate, Master Paul Okon, told NAN that he had not been able to log into JAMB’s website since March 20 that the registration started.
Okon said that he had paid the required amount of N6,200, but had yet to receive his Personal Identification Number (PIN) from JAMB’s website due to poor internet service.
“I have been here since March 20 and up till now, I have not completed my registration process after meeting all the requirements including the payment of N6,200.
“I come to this Unity Bank on every working day by 8 a.m. and go back by 5 p.m. without being registered for the examination.
“The 2017 process is too tedious as compared to last year when I wrote my first JAMB,’’ Okon said.
A Unity Bank staff who spoke on condition of anonymity, told NAN that JAMB did not test-run the website before embarking on the registration.
“You can see the crowd of candidates outside as if we are doing Calabar Carnival. The presence of prospective candidates is somehow distracting our esteemed customers,’’ he said.
At the JAMB office in Calabar, Ms Comfort Onabe, another prospective candidate, told NAN that the process had exhausted her strength.
“I keep on hearing of poor internet service by the JAMB officials every day’’.
“I really cannot say why the 2017 JAMB registration process is difficult like this. We come to this office every day and go back unsuccessful.
“I travelled from my local government which is five hours drive away from Calabar, only to come and witness this poor registration system,’’ she said.
Other candidates who spoke to NAN also expressed dissatisfaction with the poor internet connectivity to the JAMB website.
They urged the examination body to, as a matter of urgency, address the website problem with a view to enabling candidates to register for the examination without hitches.
When NAN correspondent visited JAMB office to find out the reason for the poor internet service, the state Coordinator of Calabar Branch was not immediately on seat.
Prospective candidates in Benin, who also described as cumbersome the ongoing registration exercise for JAMB in Edo, lauded the previous method of registration as a better option.
She lamented that a situation where a prospective candidate had to pay a particular sum of money at a particular bank and another sum at another bank before going to Jamb office for registration.
She told NAN that getting registered at the JAMB office even after paying at the banks was another story all together as a candidate had to wait for days before getting an opportunity to be registered.
The story was the same for Blessing Onaiwu another prospective candidate, who, however, felt that the Banks were more friendly and cooperating than the JAMB office.
She lamented the slow pace by which officials at the JAMB office attend to prospective candidates, adding that most of them spend virtually all day at the office without result.
Some petty traders also took advantage of the situation to hawk their wares at the centres where a large number of prospective candidates mill around frantically to get registered.
NAN also report from Port Harcourt that prospective candidates for this year’s JAMB registration also complained it was tasking to be registered in 2016 than in 2017.
Miss Angela Oluwa, one of the candidates told NAN that there were long queues of candidates seeking to generate JAMB pin numbers at the banks.
“In 2016, I registered with scratch card through a business centre and I used a day to register.
“But I have spent almost seven days and am not even sure that Jamb will register me today with the crowd am seeing here.’’
She also appealed to the Federal Government to review the process of JAMB registration and make it easy for candidates to register for the exam.
Precious Anonwa, another candidate, said he went to register at a CBT centre called campus link also in Oyibo and could not get through with his registration for the past nine days.
Anonwa pleaded with Jamb to come to their aid and stop using CBT centres for registration.
Meanwhile, Prof. Is’haq Oloyede, Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, (JAMB) told NAN that there might be an extension of UTME registration if need be, because no one would be left behind.
“However, no one will be left behind as the deadline may be extended if there are applicants who do not succeed at registering due to circumstances beyond their control,’’ he explained.