Two weeks after the commencement of registration for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), applicants are expressing frustrations with the process, Daily Trust reports.

Over 1.5 million secondary school students are expected to register for the examination.

However, halfway into the one month period allowed for the exercise only 600,000 have so far been able to register, JAMB, the body responsible for university admission said yesterday.

Among the recurring challenges faced by students are fewer registration centres, laborious process in bank payments and internet failures.

Two female candidates waiting to register for the JAMB examination slumped at the entrance of the Niger state zonal office, Minna, yesterday, Daily Trust learnt.

The candidates whose name could not be immediately ascertained were said to have slumped during a stampede, while struggling to obtained registration forms handed through iron barricade by officials of the board.

Three candidates who witnessed the development confirmed the situation in separate interviews with our correspondent at the gate, while waiting to be registered.

“We have to struggle to revive them by emptying content of table water on them,” one the witnesses explained.

Two male candidates also were also said to have engaged each other in fisticuffs, our correspondent learnt.

Many candidates were struggling to obtain registration forms at the gate at about 4 pm when Daily Trust visited the board.

Some of them who spoke to our correspondent complained that the registration process was too cumbersome and strenuous. One of the candidates Sagir Sale said he had been trying to complete the registration in vain since last Wednesday.

In Katsina, students go through rigorous experiences with some sleeping for three days at banks to before they get the chance to make payment.

A student, Salisu Sani, said it took him a week to be able to get registered. He said tempers were so high that trouble erupted in one of the banks.

I travelled 40km daily from Mani LGA to Katsina to get access to financial institution to be able to make payments, he added.

I can confirmed to you some of my friends that we met at the queue were passing the night with gate man for three days for he could not travel daily having come from a remote village in Dankama, he said

Candidates in Kaduna have called on JAMB to extend the one month period saying the processes are cumbersome and time consuming.

Faith Takai said she paid for PIN twice because the first one she bought was invalid.

Another candidate who gave her name as Racheal said that she started her registration a week ago, yet her thumb print has not been captured.

Also, Mohammed Yusuf said he left home early in the morning to the CBT centre in JAMB office; he could not achieve anything because of the crowd.

In Kano, some of the candidates who spoke to our reporters at Amnet Institute of Technology blamed the difficulties in the registration process to poor network and inadequate manpower at the fewer available registration centres.

Buhari Sani, one of the prospective candidates for the university entrance examination from Yobe state, told our reporters that he has been in Kano for three days but yet to finish the registration process.

Responding, the administrative officer of Over One Consult and Investment Limited, Malam Habib Shehu said the registration this time around is more cumbersome, “First we have to create an e-mail for the person, create his profile, generate the pin then register him.”

He added that even with that sometimes the problem is not from them but from the JAMB office.

In Akwa Ibom State, our correspondent reports that the story is the same with that of other parts of the country.

In Borno State,  our correspondent reports that candidates decried discrimination between children of poor parentage, who formed the majority, and those of the rich.

A female candidate, who simply identified herself as Fatima , said: “For about two weeks now, I leave home every day without taking breakfast, remain throughout the afternoon without lunch and return starving”.

In Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Fatima Ismail Ville from Great Heights Academy, said her school first came on Friday around 7am and stayed till 9 pm but was told to come back on Monday.

“We came today after writing our exams by 12pm and we were allowed in with Nigerian Turkish School, though there were many people outside but we entered,” she said.

She said they were given preference because they came as a school and that 10 people were allowed in at once for the registration, with two people attending to them.

For Hafsat Uthman, the process is challenging because of the large numbers of candidates registering.

Daily Trust correspondent who monitored developments at the designated JAMB registration centres in Lagos reported how many applicants were expressing frustrations with what they alleged to be slow-pace internet server.

The examination body has 60 designated registration centres in Lagos.

Applicants who came early were assigned numbers and at intervals, one of the security guards will come to call in about 10 to 15 applicants who will go in to do the registration.

“I came to this centre as early as 9am and I was assigned 114 Number as I was 114 on the register being used. But this is 2:30pm and I have not been called in. The last time the gatekeeper came out to call applicants was after 12 and since then the 10 to 15 people who went with him have not all return because  the internet server, we were told was slow. Now, chances are that I may not be registered today because I overheard the gatekeeper telling some other people that it was advisable for them to come very early tomorrow,” Jide Quaseem, a17-year old applicant said.

Another applicant who simply identified herself as Bimpe Kujore also express regret on the delay, wondering if the JAMB registration operators were not aware of the scorching sun under which they were forced to wait.

In Jos, the Plateau State capital, the premises of most commercial banks are overcrowded by prospective candidates as early as 8 am.

Ibrahim Danjuma who wrote the exam in 2016 but did not obtain admission told our correspondent that  “last year the stress was in the exam process not the registration process, because it was computer based.”  

In Port Harcourt, Rivers State, some applicants  said the process of getting the pin is too cumbersome and called on JAMB to engage more banks in the exercise as to make the process easy.

In Enugu State, an official at the JAMB office who identified himself simply as Mr Andy admitted that lack of access to candidate’s pin numbers and general network failure are the main difficulties facing the candidates registering for JAMB in the state.

A student, ‎Jonah Jeh, said he spent two weeks before completing the process yesterday.

Nancy Washima, who spoke to our reporter at a business centre expressed her disappointment saying that the new system introduced by JAMB has brought untold hardship to the candidates.

Washima who said that it is the third time she was registering for JAMB as she was a candidate in 2015 and 2016 said that the previous process when candidates buy a scratch card which is used to access JAMB’s portal and register at designated centres is much easier.

Charity Abraham, Zulaihat Abdullahi and Aisha Hassan also have the same story of disappointment with the process.

Charity said:”I have been here since morning and I have not eaten since then‎. I paid N600 at the Business centre to open an email, create a profile and obtain a printout of the profile. I paid N5, 500 in the Bank and I am going to the JAMB office to pay N700.”

JAMB reacts

JAMB Registrar Professor Is-haq Oloyede said most of the problems associated with the UTME registration process were self-imposed.

He said “I visited Lagos and Ogun and I am now in Kaduna (yesterday). What we discovered is that most of the difficulties were self-imposed. Number one; there was under utilization of capacity by the by the CBT centres.”

He said all the registered centres had about 100 computers each and could register a hundred candidates simultaneously but instead, resorted to using “one or two computers.”

He said the delay in assigning registration pins to candidates by banks was due to failure to follow instructions. He said banks were instructed to create profiles for the candidates but “rather than creating the profiles, they are conniving with some centres and sending candidates to them.”

He said some banks haven’t deployed enough manpower for the exercise.

Professor Oloyede said there were 650 CBT centres in the country which were enough to carry out the registration exercise but nearly all candidates “insist on going to JAMB centres which were only 36 in number.”

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