*To pay over N50m as commission to financial vendors

By Joseph Erunke, ABUJA

AHEAD of the 2022 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME and the Direct Entry, DE registration billed to commence on February 12, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has hinted on its plan to establish a self-service registration platform.

But it explained that the new registration platform would only be established in Lagos and Abuja.

Besides, JAMB said it was set to incur not less than N50 million as added commission to its financial vendors following the introduction of the cashless regime introduced in the 2022/23 UTME/DE Registration exercise.

The board’s weekly news bulletin, released Monday, by its Head of Media and Protocol, Dr Fabian Benjamin, explained that the new registration measure was aimed at expanding the registration access points in line with COVID-19 protocols and reducing the crowds at CBT centres in the affected cities.

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“In its bid to leverage the digital competence of its increasing number of computer-savvy candidates, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) is introducing self-registration outlets in Abuja and Lagos.

“This system would, in the long run, reduce the crowds at CBT centres in these cities.

“The conception of this noble idea is to, besides advancing the digital competence of candidates who feel they can do the registration on their own, expand the registration access points in line with COVID-19 protocols.

“The service provider, Bankfort, expressed optimism about the immense potential of the seamless registration mode, stating that it is

the norm rather than the exception in more developed climes,” it said.

On the other hand, the board said it would incur over N50m as commission to financial vendors.

It quoted the registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, as explaining that the additional financial burden “is the price the Board is prepared to pay owing to its passionate concern for the plight of hapless UTME/DE candidates by shylock centre owners.”

” He added that the measure would also put a stop to other sharp practices that usually trailed the payments of direct service charges for registration at these centres.”

“The Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, disclosed this at a virtual meeting with financial institutions and other vendors who desire to participate in the sales of the 2022 UTME and Direct Entry application e-PINs,” the bulletin explained.

It explained that “The registrar pointed out that every candidate who desires to purchase the e-PIN would have to pay the sum of N4,700 as the total cost of the e-PIN which is N3,500.”

It read further:”For the e-PIN as subsidised by the Federal Government, N500 for the compulsory reading text which is paid to the Publisher, and N700 regulated service charge for CBT centres, which candidates used to pay directly to the centres, but would now be paid along with the cost of the e-PINs by all candidates.

“The Board would later transmit all accrued entitlements to respective CBT centres on a weekly basis or any time frame agreeable to respective centres, to curtail all noticeable infractions.

“Prof. Oloyede stated that is spearheading the collection of the N700 services charge on behalf of the centres, the Board would be taking on additional responsibilities not least is the N25 commission, which amounted to over N50 million the previous year.

“The Registrar enjoined all the financial institutions to live up to expectations as the vendors would be held responsible for any act of misdemeanours or infractions committed by their agents.

“The vendors, in their various reactions, commended the Board for its consistency in churning out innovations aimed at safeguarding the interests of candidates.

“Similarly, they made useful suggestions on how to ensure a seamless flow of ePINs from the Board to participating financial houses for speedy and prompt access by candidates.”

Vanguard News Nigeria