Chris Steven, Abuja
The Joint Admission and Matriculations Board, JAMB said it has sent a strongly worded letter of protest to the telecommunications outfit, MTN Nigeria Limited over what it described as deliberate attempt by the network provider to frustrate its efforts at conducting an hitch free Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME scheduled to hold between May 13 and 20, 2017.
Registrar of JAMB, Ishaq Oloyede said in Abuja on Wednesday, that the network provider which is one of the two contracted by the Board to provide internet access for the conduct of its computer based UTME failed to provide network to its Bwari CBT center last Monday when candidates were expected to take a mock UTME.
“ Last Monday, it wasn’t possible for anybody to switch JAMB Headquarters off as it happened during mock because we have taken some cautions but what happened was that the whole of Bwari was down for four hours, we couldn’t have expected that but despite that we came up with option B that was able to deliver the exam” he lamented.
Speaking at the opening of a training workshop for staff of the Board that would take part in a nationwide mock examination slated for Saturday, April 29, 2017, Oloyede disclosed that a mini-mock which was held in ten states of the federation recorded 99 percent success except for in Bwari, the Headquarters of JAMB where MTN network was not available in the whole community for four hours on that day.
His words: “Last Monday we conducted a semi-mock, preliminary mock in ten places across the country and it was 99 percent success. That is we conducted it in Sokoto, Abuja, Lagos, Ilorin, Nasarawa, Kogi and other places and we tested the technology again, it was working but it worked because of the cooperation of all. Those of you who were in Bwari on that Monday knew what happened.
In Bwari last Monday, the day we were to do the mock test, between 12 O’clock and 4pm there was no MTN network anywhere in Bwari. We had to switch to Airtel to be able to conduct the examination. We have protested strongly to MNT and we hope that MTN would not allow such to happen again.
The reason we were given was that Bwari was down, MTN was down, the generator was down, the battery was down, and the back-up was down between 12 O’clock and 4pm. That was a very strange coincidence but because we anticipated such we were able to switch to Airtel. That was why we were able to conduct a successful mock test.
This time around we have written a very strong protest to MTN and we believe it was an accident, it was a coincidence, we hope it would not happen again. We have reasons to believe that some of the challenges are extra-ordinary but I’m not appointed to give excuses but to deliver.”
Oloyede said the management of JAMB has however gone back to the drawing board ahead of the mock coming up on Saturday and the real examination next month in order to record success noting that more redundancies have been created to take care of any unexpected failure.
“We have gone back to the drawing board because we didn’t expect failure from one of our partners. What we have done is to create some other redundancies that if this one fails we would be able to come up with this. We believe that come next Saturday, we would do our best”, he said
He said that JAMB would be more vigilant ahead of the conduct of the entrance examination to checkmate activities of those he said are hell bent to disrupt the plans and discredit his efforts at recording success during the examination.