JAMB’s tech-driven war against malpractices paying off as stakeholders adjust



Uba Group

For the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, having registration and examination processes devoid of logistic challenges and malpractice are realisable if necessary steps are taken by stakeholders. The body has been adopting several means, including application of advanced digital technology and intelligence to address hiccups and expose corrupt practices that have hitherto characterised registration of prospective candidates for the annual Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME).

Checks by our correspondent at some registration centres revealed that JAMB is gradually winning the war against what could be described as its age-long challenges. Before the examination body embraced technology fully, candidates had complained of the cumbersome nature of registration as some had said the exercise was slow, arguing that an applicant took about three days to register following difficulty in accessing JAMB’s website.

They also said there was no signal during registration. However, findings showed that the processes had improved to an appreciable extent as applicants purchase their Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) and are registered within an hour without hitches or delay.

Since the ongoing 2023 UTME registration began on Saturday, January 14, 2023, the body has not recorded any complaints by prospective candidates as regards any hitches in the process. Already, out of the about 1.8million candidates expected to take part in this year’s computer-based test used to rank admission seekers into Nigerian universities, JAMB has registered over 92,490 candidates as of the last two weeks. While registration is expected to continue until February 14, this year, Registrar, JAMB, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, told The Point that registration would not be extended.

Recall that the body had introduced a N1,000 fee to be paid at the point of registration for candidates who indicate interest in taking part in the mock UTME.

JAMB said it deployed this strategy to curb losses for CBT centre owners when candidates failed to show up for the mock UTME they had expressed interest in. JAMB said the computer-based UTME test would be held between Saturday, April 29 and Monday, May 12, 2023.

The agency also fixed Thursday, March 16, 2023, for the conduct of the optional mock UTME. The examination body announced that UTME PIN should be sold at the rate of N5,700 while those who were interested in sitting for the mock examination should pay additional N1,000. Oloyede had warned JAMB offices and all agents of accredited CBT centres against charging prospective students beyond the stipulated rates.

To ensure strict compliance to the directive, the registrar has been touring the 36 states of the federation to monitor ongoing registration activities by paying unscheduled visits to JAMB CBT centres. Before he embarked on his visits, it was gathered that Oloyede had planted intelligence across the registration points to guide against corrupt practices, extortion and any form of malpractice and report same to appropriate quarters.

Also, the agency configured the biometrics registration gadgets in such a way that they could detect when multiple fingerprints were used by impersonators. Fortunately, these efforts have been yielding results from day one as the agency has uncovered some violators of the ethics of the examination body, manipulators and impersonators, including administrators of centres and other officials.

When Prof. Oloyede monitored the registration at some centres in Lagos in January, he announced the suspension of two agents, Parkway Project and Digital Partners, for selling the PIN to candidates at fees higher than the approved amount and reiterated that the board would not condone extortion under any guise.

The Board had earlier suspended another agent, ETranzact for a similar offence. The Registrar explained that agents assisting the board to sell PIN do not have a reason to sell above the official price since provisions had been made to compensate them. He said every agent was paid five per cent of the whole amount charged, which is N5,700, and that the board was surprised that some were selling the PIN for N6,500 or more.

According to him, every Friday, the agency pays the agents their commission. Speaking with the Registrar at JJK Computers, two of the candidates revealed that they were charged additional N800 by a vendor who charged them N6, 500 rather than the approved official fee.

It was a similar case at the WAEC office, as one of the candidates told the Registrar that he was charged N8,700, while another candidate said he was charged N5,800. Though, suspending centres has been reducing the number of CBTs by the board, Oloyede explained that it would be better to have a few centres helping to conduct the UTME, than having a large number that are substandard or aiding malpractice.

He said, “The reduction in the number will not in any way hinder applicants from registering for the examination. We have made provisions to register at least 100,000 candidates daily and so far the highest figure we have got for a day is about 65,000. So, we have the capacity to register over 1.8 million candidates.

As for writing the exam, there are enough provisions for all candidates to sit for it. If peradventure, an exam does not start one hour after the scheduled time, such will be cancelled.

The operators of the centre would be in contact with us and before the candidates leave the venue, another day and time for the exam would be scheduled.” Recently, when Oloyede and his team visited Osun State for the continuation of the monitoring exercise, it was discovered that all the centres visited sold the PIN to applicants at the approved amount and there were no logistic challenges. The JAMB boss practically engaged most of the prospective candidates on one-on-one conversations and inquired about the amount they bought the PIN, whether it was sent to their email addresses or not, and the minutes they spent for registration.

According to him, each applicant should not spend close to an hour for both the purchase of the PIN and registration. When our correspondent asked applicants and registration administrators, they said the registration was fast and that within 30 minutes, the PIN would have been purchased while registration took about 10 to 15 minutes, maximum.


Another feat by the digital technology innovation of the Board is that during registration, candidates are able to see the faces of those registering them on the computer so that they would be able to identify such person if anything goes wrong.


Prof. Oloyede visited JAMB Professional Test Centre, Ilobu Road, Osogbo, capital of Osun State and discovered that there was poor enlightenment on the usage of the bar code engraved on the back page and inner page of the JAMB novel for the 2023 UTME candidates titled:

“The Life Changer.” Most of the applicants couldn’t use their phones to access the digital brochure and syllabus. At another JAMB CBT centre located at the back of the technical college in Osogbo, Oloyede inspected two newly furnished CBT halls with newly procured computers for the test. The two halls, with 250 sitting capacity each, were well protected within the premises of the Board.

While monitoring the registration there, it was also revealed that majority of the prospective candidates were not given sufficient guide on how they can use their phones to scan the bar code. The Registrar expressed displeasure at the poor performance of officials of Service Compact With All Nigerians (SERVICOM) at the premises and urged them to always put the candidates through on the usage of the bar code and how they could access it.

Addressing the admission seekers who were being attended to in turn, Oloyede asked, “How many of you have phones that you can scan back code with? Instead of giving you CDs that you won’t be able to watch, that’s why we decided to put everything in the bar code so that you can get to see and read them up on your phones.”

When none of the students was able to use their phone to scan the bar code, the JAMB Registrar, who was not happy with the discovery, moved close to the point where some officials of SERVICOM were and lashed out at them, saying, “SERVICOM people, you are not educating these students on the use of the bar codes.

Your duty is to sensitise them on the usefulness and also put them through on how to use their phones to access it. Don’t just give the book to them and assume they will know it.

As you can see, none of them knows how to scan it.” From there, Oloyede moved to another centre, this time, a private one. At Allbest Allied CBT and Vocational Centre (JAMB Accredited), behind Zara Guest House, Babawande Area, opposite Oba Iyiola Primary School, Osogbo, the Registrar inspected the CBT hall there and also educated prospective candidates at the centre on how to access the bar code.

In an interview with The Point, one of the prospective candidates, Oparinde Joseph, who is from Obaagun in Osun State, said the registration was going smoothly and that he was swiftly attended to and registered. Also, Daud Abdullahi, a staff of the centre who was seen registering an applicant, said, “Within five or 10 minutes, the registration is done. It’s very fast and there is no delay.”

Addressing newsmen after the monitoring exercise, Oloyede further disclosed that the agency had positioned intelligence across the country and also developed strong technological gadgets that would expose those impersonating candidates and corrupt vendors.

The Board had said it cancelled the registrations of no fewer than 817 candidates that registered to sit for the 2023 UTME and Direct Entry examinations.

The examination body said it made the decision, owing to the discovery of certain infractions such as the use of strange biometrics during the registration process. Oloyede noted that some registration officers in the affected 178 Computer-Based Test centres added their fingerprints to complete the registration process for the candidates. The former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, however, mentioned that the 817 affected students would be given another opportunity to re-register for the exam with the centres bearing the cost. He said, “For the students who allowed other people to add their fingers to their registration procedure, we found that some of them were only naive, because you will hear them saying my finger was hot, and the man added his own.

And you allowed him to add his own Some of them did it deliberately for impersonation, but we can’t identify those who are genuine from those who are not genuine. We will cancel all of them, all the registrations, and we will ask them to re-register.

“The centres involved, we have just met with them, and they all confessed, nobody is disputing it, even students that were telling lies, they know we have the technology that won’t allow any lie to be accommodated. On their own (the CBT centres owners), they suggested the solution.

We will cancel the registrations of those people concerned and we will send a message to them to go back to the very centres where they were registered and the CBT centres will pay to the board the cost of registration of the candidates.”

The JAMB boss revealed that allowing a registration officer or any other person to add his or her fingerprint during capturing of a candidate’s biometric data could bring about impersonation in the exam as well as give such “strange” persons access to change vital details, including exam centre. “By adding his or her fingerprint to your registration, it means he or she can change all your particulars when you are not there. You know your finger is what is used to identify you.

The person can change your examination centre like, say from Lagos to Ibadan, and on the exam day, you won’t be able to write the exam. That is why we put in place a device that will throw up any strange finger that is not yours and that is why we were able to identify them,” he explained.

Speaking on the recent suspension of five CBT centres for selling UTME registration PINs above the stipulated price, the JAMB boss said four of the five had been let off the hook. He, however, said the excess payment would be refunded by the affected CBT centres to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission for necessary action.

“They will pay the money to them and the law will determine what to do because I don’t believe the money should go back to the candidates because if you can pay N3,000, N5,000, N6,000 above the cost, you do not deserve any sympathy.

I believe the money should not go back to them because we told them not to pay but now that they have paid, we will recover the money and pay it to the appropriate government agency because if we retain it, they will say JAMB is looking for money.

We are not looking for dirty money, we will therefore return the money to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, so as decided by the law, they can even take it to a charity home and give it to those in need,” he added.


Oloyede disclosed that the body detected 789 examination mercenaries impersonating candidates for this year’s UTME across the country. He added that deployment of technology had helped to reduce examination malpractices in the annual matriculation examination as the body was not relenting in ensuring total eradication of the menace.

“In the past, candidates complained of extortion but you can see we made it almost impossible for them to do so. We have deployed both human and technological means of detecting violation. You can see that the issue of no signal is not happening this year, so what we are doing is improving what we did last year and that is why we are available in every part of the country to monitor strict compliance with the regulation.

“We have about 789 students that had been impersonated by people in the course of registration. What they do is that, instead of putting the 10 fingers of each candidate, they will go there, pay some people to register several mercenaries’ fingers, so that any of them can enter the examination hall.

“After we have blocked that, they have now engaged CBT workers who work with centres, innocently, the centres may not pay them well not knowing they are impersonators, so one person will come with his own students and will put his own fingers and register it along with those of the candidates.

“By God’s grace, we are picking them up, we have enough intelligence to detect them and we will pick them, there is no shortcut to success in UTME, the only route to success is to study hard and go through the right channel,” he said.

When asked if there was the possibility of the body extending the ongoing registration deadline due to scarcity of currency, he stressed that the body would not extend its registration deadline, saying alternative payment platforms had been provided for candidates.


The JAMB Registrar has, however, uncovered, through intelligence, an agent at one of the registration spots at the CBT centre of the Osun State College of Education, Ilesa, who attempted to impersonate a candidate. The agent, identified as Jubril, is said to be one of the temporary staff of the College.

While directing the management of the College, through its Dean, College of Science, Yetunde Esther Ogunwale, to produce Jubril in Abuja for interrogation on the alleged attempted impersonation, Ogunwale revealed to the JAMB boss that the agent was at the Orientation Camp of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Rivers State after studying a part time course in a university. Immediately, Oloyede was alarmed as to how a part-time graduate got to participate in NYSC.

He told Ogunwale over the phone that he “must produce this person because he has committed another crime. You have shown me another one now.” Oloyede instructed one of his aides to send Jubril’s name to the Director-General of NYSC to confirm where he was and how he was able to manipulate records to go to the orientation camp.

Explaining Jubril’s initial offence, Oloyede said, “While he (Jubril) was registering some of the candidates, he put one of his fingers as one of the 10 fingers so that he could enter and write the exam for the candidate. We have the facts and that’s why we want to invite him.”

“He wants to impersonate the candidate in writing the examination. Produce him and if you don’t, you know we have the NIN and we will ask the police to produce him wherever he is,” he told Ogunwale. Meanwhile, with these giant strides of the Board and readiness of stakeholders to adjust to the new order of ethics, decency and discipline in the system, it is believed that the era of shortcut to academic success in the nation’s educational sector would be stamped out completely in no time.