Sponsored Links: The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has released guidelines for the 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) as well as fixing dates for registration of candidates and the examination. This is coming as JAMB disclosed the reduction of production cost to the tune of N2 billion per annum. Addressing critical stakeholders on the plans and programmes for 2018 UTME and Direct Entry (DE) examinations at a meeting in Abuja wednesday, JAMB Registrar, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, said the board has fixed a two-month registration duration from November 22, 2017, to January 22, 2018, as against the one month duration for the 2017 examination. Giving this wide duration, he said the board does not have the intention of extending the registration period. He however, expressed concern at the ongoing delay experienced at the hands of publishers of the reading texts, which he promised would be handled. Oloyede said the examination proper has been fixed between March 9 and 17, 2018 for the UTME, while the Mock examination which is optional will take place between 21 and 23 January, 2018. He said: “It is proposed that the sale of application documents would commence on November 22 and end on January 22, 2018, spanning a period of two months as against one month of the 2017 exercise. The only concern is the publisher of the reading text that appears to have taken the board’s gentle approach as helplessness. “Having examined that all logistics put in places for a smooth exercise, the management would strictly adhere to the sale period. Therefore, all critical stakeholders are advised to cooperate, collaborate, support and assist the board in this direction. “It is proposed that the Mock examination would take place on January 22 to 24, 2018. The number of days for the examination varies from one to three and this would depend on the number of candidates who show interest in the Mock examination and the number of Computer Based Test centres in the examination towns/ state of candidates who express interest.. “It is proposed that the 2018 UTME will take place between March 9 and 17, 2018,” he added. To prevent extortion of candidates, Oloyode said the application fee remains N5,000 which include N300 bank charges while candidates are to pay N700 for registration at the Computer Based Centres (CBT) accredited by the board. According to him, “The application fees remains N5,000 just as the Reading Test is still N500. The application fee is inclusive of the commission of N300 paid on each application to the selling point.” The JAMB, however, noted that foreign candidates have their fees slashed from between $120 and $100 paid last year to just $20. He said that “in order to streamline the application fee in tandem with application fee for other public examinations in other countries, management has approved $20 per candidate as application fee for all foreign based candidates in any country. The Nigerian embassies in each of the countries shall assist the board in collating and forwarding the application forms to the board”. To ensure the successful conduct of the examination, the registrar said the board has put in place measure to checkmate malpractices and fraud, to further give credibility to the examination. Such measures, he said, included introduction of Electronic Jammers at all CBT centres to ensure that the integrity of the test is maintained. Other measure is the prohibition of items such as cell telephones and other materials prohibited in examination sessions like wrist watches, any electronic gadgets or device, any form of pen, while eye glasses are to be scrutinized. He advised parents “to ensure that their children and wards do not go to the examination venue with the prohibited items. Both metal and lens’ detectors will be deployed.” In preparation for the examination, Oloyede disclosed that the board has at various times met with several stakeholders and service providers necessary for the success of the examination. Such bodies include the Mobile Money operators, banks and other financial service providers, communication service providers (MTN, Airtel, Glo) and technical advisors. In a related development, Oloyode disclosed that JAMB was able to cut cost on annual bases to the tune of N2 billion in recent renegotiation of service agreements. According to him, the board renegotiated the then existing service agreements with the aim of having the best deals for the nation and doing what is right.