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UTME: Return to pencil-paper exam-Reps tell JAMB

• Probes CBN’s secret 909 recruitment

By Moshood Adebayo

THE HOUSE of Representatives, yesterday, ordered the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), to return to the former pencil-paper method in conducting examinations for candidates seeking admission into tertiary institutions.
The House said the alleged technical flaws recorded in the latest computer-based Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) had exposed JAMB’s lack of capacity to handle the computer-based tests.
It also ordered JAMB in the alternative to “conduct both computer-based tests and pencil-paper examinations simultaneously for candidates to  opt for anyone of their choice.”
The lawmakers passed the resolution after Mr. Oghene Emma-Egoh moved a motion on the “conflicting” scores of candidates who took the examination.
He noted that besides the conflicting scores resulting from the technical flaws, it was obvious that many candidates could not pass the examination for the simple reason that they were not computer-literate.
Emma-Egoh, who expressed the fear that many of the students were not computer literate, also argued that the hopes of many intending students had been dashed due to the technical errors.
Also, the House began an investigation into the alleged secret recruitment of 909 employees by the Central Bank of  Nigeria (CBN).
The apex bank on the order of its Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, reportedly carried out the alleged recruitment.
The beneficiaries of the controversial recruitment were said to be children and relatives of influential Nigerians across the country.
Speaker Yakubu Dogara had mandated Committees on Federal Character, Banking/Currency to commence and complete the investigations within three weeks.
Under ‘matters of urgent public importance’, Mr. Aliyu Madaki, had drawn the attention of the House to the recruitment.
Madaki noted that there were no prior notifications on the recruitment through advertisements to give Nigerians the  opportunity to apply.
He recalled that there were speculations that CBN conducted secret recruitment in 2015, which it quickly denied, adding that the latest allegation only confirmed that the bank actually recruited.
“The recruitment by the CBN is in breach of the Federal Character Principle as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended). The recruitment breached Section 14(1); 14(3); and Section 17(1) of the constitution’.
“There was no fairness, no justice in this exercise conducted by the CBN.”
Dogara had overruled any debate on the issue on the grounds that it could pre-judge the outcome of the investigation. This is an investigation; let us not allow any debate so that we won’t pre-empt its outcome,” he said.

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