Over 1.47million candidates have been confirmed by the Joint Admission, Matriculation and Examination Board to have registered for the 2015 computer-based Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.
The JAMB Registrar, Dibu Ojerinde, disclosed this on Thursday at a press conference.
He added that 208 prison inmates from Kaduna and Ikoyi prisons will also write the examination.
Mr. Ojerinde said the total number of candidates who registered for this year’s examination was a far cry from 2014’s. He said over 1.6 million candidates sat for the paper-pencil test, the dual based test and the computer based test.
He said there was a decrease of about 156,695 applicants compared to 2014.
Mr. Ojerinde stated that Imo State had the highest number of applicants with 104,381 and the FCT the lowest with just 4,085.
He added that Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States with insecurity challenges ranked among the lowest with 15,692; 15,613 and 10,044 candidates respectively.
He said the effect of insecurity could be seen in the rate of registration especially in the North.
Mr. Ojerinde explained that the transformation to a full-blown computer-based test mode became imperative in order to resolve the challenges faced by the board in the conduct of its examination.
He disclosed that the registration process for the computer-based examination had eliminated the incidence of dual or multiple registrations by candidates.
Mr. Ojerinde debunked a report that the board had postponed the examination.
“It’s not fair to have reported that the examination started on Wednesday,” Mr. Ojerinde said. “We did not tell them to come for examination yesterday. We believe that we have enemies who don’t want this to work. We shall do it. Next week is when examination starts and not yesterday.”
He added that the board would leave no stone unturned in ensuring Nigeria’s education sector is on the same pedestal with other developed nations.
“We want to move this country forward,” he said. “We want to curb examination malpractices and we want to do it the way it is done world over.”
He noted that President Goodluck Jonathan endorsed all moves by the Board to improve its processes.
This year’s UTME is scheduled to hold between Tuesday, March 10 and Saturday, March 21 across 400 centres in Nigeria and seven foreign countries namely: Ghana, Cameroon, Republic of Benin, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Ethiopia.