Authorities of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has shut down seven examination centers across Bayelsa State for violating its rules and regulations for examination.

According to available data, the closure of the centres leaves Bayelsa state with only four centers to cater to about 24,000 candidates.

The state coordinator of JAMB, Abdusalam Mohammed, who made this known during a call on the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) at the Ernest Sese Ikoli press center in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, explained that some of the examination centers were delisted for duplicating the Virtual Private Network (VPN) of their router.

Others were delisted for charging unsuspecting candidates outrageous sums of money during registration.

Mohammed said “Initially Bayelsa had eleven examination centers, and so far seven out of this number have been delisted from our platform for various infractions. The owners of some of these centers tampered with the VPN of our router. And that is a very big offense”

“They duplicated the VPN by moving the router from one location to another location where they did whatever they liked, which is a very big offense. Others were overcharging candidates. During registration, we sent out a monitoring team out and they came back with the report that candidates were charged N5000 for a service that should ordinarily cost N2, 500.”

Mohammed also gave insight into the level of preparedness of the board to examine as Coronavirus continues to spread “even before the lockdown was lifted, we had started training our staff on how to attend to candidates. We have also embarked on the sensitization of candidates and provided personal prevention equipment. ”

“Also, To reduce the crowd at our office during registration, we have introduced what we call appointment for candidates. This means that candidates can only come to us when they have an appointment. The intention is to reduce body contact between staff and candidates.”.

“Before coronavirus, we used to do what is called thumb printing for candidates during registration but that has been stopped in order not to spread the virus. What we now do is that a One-Time Password (OTP) is sent to the candidate. That will now verify the candidate as the original owner of that particular application.”

“In the past, it was difficult to have 20, 000 candidates for JAMb but this year the number has skyrocketed to over 24, 000 candidates, meaning there is an improvement in the enrolment of students in Bayelsa. However, in Bayelsa awareness of our activities is low, so that is why we have come to visit you.”

Responding, the chairman of NUJ, Comrade Samuel Numonengi, frowned at the activities of the operators of the examination centers delisted, saying that actions do not mean well for the future of Bayelsa State.

He said “we cannot stand people jeopardizing the future of our children in Bayelsa State. So it is on this note I want to join you to condemn their actions and encourage parents and candidates to stand up against any form of infraction perpetrated by these individuals that have questionable character.”

“Concerning the issue of awareness, in the past JAMB used to have this strong synergy with journalists in the state but today that relationship is weak now. So I want to encourage you to build that synergy to see how we can educate our people.”