The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has confirmed that no fewer than 1,475,477 candidates will participate in this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME), scheduled to hold between Tuesday, March 10, and Saturday, March 21, across 400 centers in the country and seven foreign countries.
The 2015 UTME, JAMB said, marks the commencement of full-blown Computer Based Test, in which 208 prison inmates, drawn from Kaduna and Ikoyi prisons, and 192 visually impaired candidates will participate.
The seven foreign countries, where the examination will take place are Ghana, Cameroon, Republic of Benin, London, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Ethiopia.
The Registrar and Chief Executive of JAMB, Prof. ‘Dibu Ojerinde at a press briefing on Thursday in Abuja, however, said applications for 2015 UTME showed a slight decrease of 156,695 candidates, when compared with that of 2014 when 1,632,172 candidates applied for the examination.
Imo State has the highest number of applications with 104,381, while Delta State comes second with 78,854 candidates.
Anambra State has a total of 77,689 candidates who applied for the examination while FCT has the lowest with 4,085.
Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, where Boko Haram has displaced several resident, also rank among the lowest with 15,692, 15,613 and 10,044 candidates respectively.
Ojerinde attributed the decline in the number of applications to insecurity in some parts of the country, adding that the registration for the CBT had also eliminated the incidence of dual or multiple registration by candidates.
The JAMB Registrar also cited the mad rush for tertiary education outside the shores of Nigeria as a contributory factor for the low application by candidates this year, adding that the examination would mark a final departure from the Paper Pencil Test and the Dual Based Test.
He said, “Owing to the prevailing insecurity in parts of the North, states such as Zamfara, Adamawa, Borno, Niger, Kebbi, Sokoto and Taraba have very low patronage in terms of candidates’ applications.
“The effect of insecurity can be seen in the rate of registration, especially in the North-East. We want to move this country forward; we want to curb examination malpractices and we want to do it the way it is done the world over. The President has endorsed our effort. The beneficiaries of pencil-based examination did not want the Computer-Based Test.”
For the visually impaired, Ojerinde explained that they would use the Braille note Apex Computer to write the examination, stressing that most of the candidates for the UTME had printed their e-registration slips with which they would sit the examination.