By Felix Khanoba
Imo and Oyo states lead other 34 states of the federation with the highest number of candidates for the 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, made this known in Abuja on Wednesday when he addressed newsmen ahead of the examination which holds from March 9 to March 19, 2018.
He said that of the 1,662,762 candidates who would sit for the 2018 UTME in 605 centres across the country, 92,890 are from Imo State while 86,695 and 86,044 are from Oyo and Osun states respectively.
Oloyede said that Zamfara State has 10,077 candidates, Sokoto -134,56 and Kebbi -15,319 as states with the lowest number of candidates in the examination.
On the agitations by some Computer-Based Test (CBT) centres’ owners on the N7.8 billion returned by JAMB to the Federal Government, Oloyede said that the board would not allowed itself to be blackmailed.
He said: “We are aware of the misplaced agitations of some CBT centre owners for a share of the N7.8 billion returned to the government by the board.
“The board will continue to honour its promise of timely release of the agreed sum of N600 per candidate to the centres. If there would be any increase it will be on the basis of necessity rather than distribution of surplus. We must emphasise that while we welcome partners, blackmailers would not be allowed in the system,” he said.
Oloyede, who expressed the readiness of JAMB to conduct a seamless examination, said that the board would not be in haste to release this year’s UTME results to ensure all issues regarding the cancellation of results are minimised.
The JAMB boss further said that 6,500 personnel had been deployed for the exam, adding that about 367 blind candidates would also sit for the UTME.
He warned candidates not to fall victim of fraudsters who had evolved different tactics, including requesting for airtime recharge cards with a promise to provide help in the exam.