Chris Steven, Abuja
The National Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) says it received over 4000 applications from medical doctors who applied to work during the Jerusalem pilgrimage.
But only 250 would be selected among them after a qualification examination conducted for them by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
This was revealed during the conduct of a selection test held at the JAMB Computer-Based Test centre in Kogo, Bwari area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Accoding to David Atuwo, a board member of NCPC and Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Health, the test was introduced to improve the selection system of medical doctors who applied to the commission to render medical services to christians pilgrims to Jerusalem.
Atuwo disclosed that the examination which was to rule out bias in the selection process held in six zones including the FCT.
He said, “Today it is all based on merit. The Executive Secretary and the board thought it fit we should change the system instead of somebody sitting down in his house and making a list of people to represent the medical team. We felt that merit should take the fore front and JAMB has done an enormous job for us.
“There is no godfatherism here and that is what we are advocating for in the country that everything should be based on merit. This is purely merit based and even Nigerians will not allow it to go back to the former system.
“Close to 4370 candidates registered, at the end of the day we will know how many sat for the exam. We have 250 spaces, if we are to sit down in our office and put names there it will not be fair.
“The doctors paid a bit more than the nurses. The doctors paid N15000 and it was not for profit making. It was to take care of logistics.
“It was well calculated. JAMB graciously lowered the fees for the commission. It will be a continuous exercise and everyone has seen how fair this method is. It is merit-based. The beauty of the CBT selection is that immediately you finish the exams, you have your score.
“So you cannot deny this. Among the over 4,000 applicants, we are taking 250 persons.”
Olujide Adisa, Director of Special Duties at JAMB said the partnership would be extended to the Hajj commission too.
He said, “Our core duty is testing and we do more than doing examination into higher institutions.
“We do consultancy services too. The questions are drawn by the medical council and moderated by JAMB. We do this to ensure fairness and to remove bias.
“We ensure that the questions follow the international standard. We intend to have a working relationship with the muslim pilgrims board too.
”This is a specialized examination, the questions are drawn by the medical council and moderated by JAMB, we used our tool to moderate the exam to be fair to every candidate and to be sure that the question is not biased in anyway”.