The Computer-Based Test Centres Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (CPAN), has alleged that the 2019 UTME was marred by both biometric and browser failures.
The President of CPAN, Mr Maxwell Akwuruoha, made this known at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday.
Akwuruoha claimed that contrary to claims by the board that the examination was a success, the 2019 examination was marred by both biometric and browser failures from JAMB with most candidates denied the opportunity to write the test.
He said that more than 2000 candidates could not write the 2019 UTME due to the biometric and browser failures.
According to the body, many JAMB workers deployed on the examination days were either incompetent or connived to carry out malpractices.
“Biometric and browser failure, incompetence of technical staff, inadequacies in CBT centres and excesses in sales of novels, syllabus and brochures are some of the technical challenges that characterised the 2019 UTME exercise.
“Biometric enrollment as secured registration medium for UTME and Direct Entry candidates started in 2011, with the introduction of electronic testing actively in 2013 and absolutely in 2015.
“The introduction of technology as electronic testing saved huge costs, initially meant for printing question papers, syllabus, brochure, and logistics for delivery of same.
“But JAMB applied a fire-brigade approach during accreditation, especially with ad hoc workers who were not trained.
“It does not kill anybody to apologise that the biometric system actually failed. We had candidates that were prevented from writing the test because of biometric failures from JAMB.
” The system failed because some of the technical people sent to some centres by JAMB were incompetent. It is only noble that JAMB apologises to these children that were prevented from writing the examination.
“What we are saying is that the biometric solutions deployed by JAMB during the examination was not perfect,” he said.
Akwuruoha added that such technical challenges should not be allowed to happen during the conduct of the 2020 examination.
He called on JAMB to issue to its members a Memorandum of Understanding and adequate time for visitation and accreditation.
The CPAN president also said that the association was ready to partner with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to enroll candidates for the 2020 UTME.
JAMB’s Head of Information, Fabian Benjamin, while reacting to the allegations, described them as “cheap blackmail.”
Benjamin said that the board conducted biometric verification for about two million candidates.
“Let me assume, without conceding, that 2000 candidates could not be verified, what is the percentage of 2000 in two million?
“Every candidate that registered properly was verified. So for any candidate who was not verified, it is not as a result of biometric failure.
“Some of them registered in centres that were not approved and some of them did multiple registrations and were therefore blocked.
“If you accused us of examination malpractice, we will tell you that we have been delisting centres involved in that. None of them has ever come with allegations against our workers,” he said.
FCT Minister calls for integration, unity among African oil producers
The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, has called for unity and integration among member countries of African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO).
Aliyu made the call at the APPO Council of Ministers extra-ordinary session dinner on Friday in Abuja.
According to her, integration among African oil producing countries will enable them to maximise the developmental and welfare benefits from petroleum exploration activities.
Aliyu, in a statement signed by Mr Austine Elemue, her Special Assistant on Media, said that APPO member countries must end the disunity among them.
She advised African leaders to assist member countries to create synergies in their oil and gas industries, adding that such would strengthen Africa’s influence in the world markets and meet its energy needs.
Aliyu said that APPO, with 18-member countries, accounted for 95 per cent of Africa’s oil production and 13 per cent world oil production.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Africa’s oil and gas potential can compete today with that of any other region in the world.
“If Africa were to be considered as a single producer, it is certain that our continent would challenge Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States.
“However, to properly compete, we must put an end to the disunity and hyper-balkanisation that characterised today’s Africa and further promote its integration,” she said.
Aliyu said that Africa had been proven to host mega discoveries with a wealth of untapped and undiscovered potentials.
According to her, the investments in Africa gas and oil are beginning to pick up with the rebound in oil price.
“Today most African countries are silos doing things their own ways, building their own refineries, plants and gas turbine.
“This should not be the way to go rather we should extend hands of infrastructural relationship across Africa, build joint pipeline, plants and refineries.
“Until we begin to protect the African market, then we would have taken a huge step, not only in the development of Africa, but to the stabilisation of independent countries,” she said.
Mr Omar Ibrahim, the APPO Secretary-General, said that there was need for the organisation to build trans-border infrastructure for the benefit of the continent.
According to him, the organisation will achieve more successes by putting its resources together.
He commended Nigeria’s roles and contributions in the growth and development of Africa and APPO since inception 30 years ago.
Edited by: Chidinma Agu/Ismail Abdulaziz
Arik Air resumes services to Asaba
Arik Air Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, said in a statement in Lagos that starting from Dec. 18, the airline would be operating daily flights from Lagos to Asaba.
Ilegbodu said that the resumption of flights to Asaba was coming at a time when people were looking for seamless travel during the Yuletide.
Arik Air’s return to Asaba is nostalgic as the airline was the first to commence commercial flights to Asaba when the airport was inaugurated in 2011.
Similarly, Arik Air, in the spirit of the Yuletide season, will be increasing its frequency from Lagos to Owerri to thrice daily.
The additional flight will operate at 7:00 a.m. daily in addition to the 1:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. departures,” he said.
Speaking on the latest development, Ilegbodu said: “The resumption of flights to Asaba is a promise kept as we had assured our esteemed customers that we would be back on the route before the Christmas festivities.
“We once again assure our customers of a high operating safety standard and excellent customer service during the Yuletide and beyond.”
Edited by: Tayo Ikujuni/Adeleye Ajayi
Christmas: FRSC to pitch camps at Onitsha Bridge, other gridlock areas
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says it will pitch camps near the Niger Bridgehead, Onitsha and other gridlock areas in Anambra to tackle traffic challenges during Christmas and New year celebrations.
The State Sector Commander, Mr Ayodele Kumapayi disclosed this in Onitsha during the lunch of “Operation no Wawawa on the road” organised by management of 93.7 Wazobia FM, Onitsha on Thursday.
Kumapayi said no fewer than 600 officials would be deployed to the Onitsha Bridgehead and other flash points with traffic congestion in the commercial city.
The camps are to be manned 24 hours by our men, who would be drawn from the various unit commands, so we don’t overburden those in Onitsha,” he said.
Kumapayi commended Wazobia FM, Onitsha for volunteering to partner with the corps in ensuring a hitch-free traffic during the festive season.
The sector commander, who called for commitment and discipline on the part of the Wazobia personnel, assured them of maximum support and corporation.
We in the FRSC are set to ensure safety on the highway. We are synergising with other relevant stakeholders to ensure there is ease of movement before, during and after the festive season.
You will be booed and insulted by the motoring public, but keep your calm. You will be working hand- in- hand with my men and I expect the best from you,” he said.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, Anambra State Traffic Management Agency (ATMA), Mr Chris Uzoechina urged the staff of the media outfit to see the work as a sacrifice.
Uzoechina urged them to carry out the voluntary service with courtesy and decorum.
You must acknowledge that this job is a state responsibility, because the Bridgehead is a gateway to the state.
We expect you to be courteous so as not to represent the state in a bad light,” he added.
Earlier, the Head of station, Wazobia FM, Onitsha, Mr Ugo Enwerji explained that the exercise was part of the organisation’s corporate social responsibility.
Anambra is generally peaceful but we have traffic problem in the state because drivers out here do not obey rules and regulations.
We carried out a similar campaign in 2018 and continued on our radio station because we expect massive vehicles on the road following the closure of the Enugu Airport,” he said.
The station manager said the media outfit was also partnering with the FRSC in Delta to make sure that the bridgehead was clear during the festive season.
Enwerji said the campaign will run from Dec. 12 through Dec. 25 and continue on Dec. 29 till Jan. 1, 2020 between the hours of 11a.m and 4p.m.
Edited /Felix Ajide
Implement 5% national appointment quota for PLWD, Anenih tells FG
Former Minister of Women Affairs, Dr Josephine Anenih, on Thursday called for the implementation of the five per cent quota reserved for Persons Living With Disability (PLWD) in national appointments.
The theme of the lecture was “Managing Diversity in a Modern Democracy; A Case for Equity and Justice in Lagos.
NAN recalls that the act enjoins all public organisations to reserve at least five per cent of employment opportunities for these persons.
The former minister also urged the government to implement 35 per cent women’s inclusion at all leadership categories to promote justice, equitable representation and fairness in the nation.
There cannot be true democracy without recognition of diversity and failure to manage diversity can lead to war.
Diversity should be promoted and must include all voices, no matter what across the nation,” she said.
Addressing the challenges faced with Rural Grazing Area (RUGA), Anenih urged citizens to recognise cattle rearing as a way of life for a certain group of Nigerians and advised a workable solution to accommodate it to foster a sense of national unity.
In her words: “We can talk and agree on how to live as one and must be committed to diversity by recognizing and legalising one another.”
She also advised the restructuring and reorganisation of the nation for greater achievement and urged the ruling party to be more tolerant of criticisms.
She challenged the institute to use its position to influence policies that promote national progress and unity.
Anenih also called for the establishment of a South East Commission charged with the responsibility of the reconstruction of the geographical zone ravaged by the civil war.
As an Ibo woman, I lived through loosing loved ones and properties to the Nigerian civil war due to mismanagement of diversity,” she said.
The outgoing president, Prof. Olukunle Iyanda, who spoke about his tenure, said his team through advocacy activities, addressed management issues to enable the nation leveraged its enormous human and material resources for greater output and progress.
The newly inducted president and Chairman of Council of NIM, Mrs Patience Anabor, said the task ahead of her administration would focus on thriving on continuity and consolidation to sustain all the good programmes of her predecessors.
We shall strive to put the institute’s professional certificate on the right pedestal, deploying every means under the ambit of the law to pursue the rating of the Institute by the National Council on Establishment.
NAN reports that Late Dr Christopher Abebe, Late Jerome Udoji and Dr Michael Omolayole were inducted into the management hall of fame of the Institute for their admirable ethical managerial contributions to the nation.
Also, 19 others were elected alongside Mrs Patience Anabor into various leadership positions.
Edited by: Abdullahi Mohammed/Wale Ojetimi
FRSC’ll be strict on vision acuity test, Oyeyemi tells motorists
Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), on Thursday, said that the corps would be strict on its conduct of vision acuity test as part of the ember months strategies.
Oyeyemi said this in an address at a 2019 Ember Months Campaign organised by the Lagos State Command of the corps in partnership with the Beer Sectoral Group (BSG).
He said that the move became necessary in order to reduce road accidents and fatalities.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the mega campaign was tagged: “Road Safety is a State of Mind, Road Traffic Crash is the Absence of Mind, Stay Alert, Stay Alive”.
Oyeyemi, who was represented by Mr Samuel Obayemi, the Zonal Commanding Officer, RS 2 Command comprising Ogun and Lagos States, said it had become imperative to make sure drivers on the roads did not have defective eyesight.
The FRSC has been firm with its campaigns for safe motoring environment since its inception, and this has driven the corps to map out strategies to achieve the reduction of road traffic crashes by 20 per cent and fatalities by 25 per cent on yearly basis.
” Operational strategies lined up for the 2019 ember months campaigns are to ensure safety and to enforce safety culture by improving the visibility of the corps on all national roads.
The corps is going to be strict on its conduct of vision acuity test to make sure all drivers on the road do not have defective eyesight, and the responsibility equally falls on other traffic agencies to collaborate with FRSC to achieve this.
” This is to equally inform participants present that the weather condition is fast changing, hence the need to make sure the headlamps are in working condition in case of low visibility, ” Oyeyemi said.
He said that many people erroneously believed there were evil forces on the road in ember months that are responsible for crashes and fatalities, whereas it was the negative attitude of road users that caused most accidents.
It is the struggle on the part of most people to travel to meet their loved ones and more trips on the part of commercial drivers to make more profit in preparation for the Yuletide without adequate rest that are mainly responsible for the road mishaps.
The resolve of the corps as of today is to use the media and all public enlightenment platforms to dispel the erroneous belief and to proffer a way forward for the reduction of road traffic crashes,” the FRSC boss said.
Oyeyemi, who counselled drivers to obtain genuine licences, highway codes and new Number Plate, said that enforcement would be carried out concomitantly with the enlightenment campaigns.
He said that the corps would enforce its ‘Operation Cobra ‘which was initiated to curb specific offences such as light violation, drunk driving, dangerous driving, use of phone while driving, and route violation.
In his address of welcome, Mr Hyginus Omeje, the FRSC’s Sector Commander, said that the mega campaign was to elevate consciousness of Nigerians to the realities of road traffic crashes.
Omeje said that road traffic incidents and fatalities in the state had been on the increase, as distracted driving stole minds drivers away while on the roads.
In Lagos State, Road Traffic Crash incidences and fatalities recorded from first to third quarters in 2018 stood at 225 and 74 respectively. The statistics over the same period in 2019 stood at 419 crashes and 84 fatalities.
” This translates to 51 per cent increase in crash cases and 14 per cent increase in fatality notwithstanding the command’s numerous intervention.”
In his remarks, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, who commended the FRSC for addressing cases of unnecessary deaths on the road, urged motorists to change their negative attitude and recklessness.
Obasa, who was represented by Mr Temitope Adewale, the Chairman, House Committee on Transport, urged FRSC to intensify measures at clamping down on fake driving documents to ensure safety.
According to him, FRSC should work more with the state ministry of transport and avoid complicating traffic congestion while carrying out their duties.
NAN reports that the event had in attendance stakeholders in the transport sector such as the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) among others.
Edited by: Modupe Adeloye/Oluwole Sogunle
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