A total of 1.7 million candidates are expected to sit for the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), according to Ishaq Oloyede, registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
He made the disclosure on Tuesday while fielding questions from journalists at the information and communication technology (ICT) retreat organised for stakeholders in Abeokuta, Ogun state.
The retreat was attended by civil society groups, students and other stakeholders in the education sector.
“We are expecting 1.7 million candidates to sit for JAMB this year and we want to make sure we satisfy them within a week or thereabout,’’ he said.
Last year, 1,561,443 candidates sat for the UTME.
Oleyede said the board was also planning to increase its computer based testing (CBT) centres in order to the make the examination exercise unified.
He said although he could not guarantee a hitch-free examination, the innovations being put in place “will send some illegal operators, who are defrauding candidates in the past, out of business”.
He said the major objective of the retreat was for stakeholders to critique the board’s processes, “because we will not want to continue in the wrong direction”.
“Frankly, I cannot promise a hitch-free examination because we are testing certain things,” he said.
“We are changing certain things; we want to question the status quo and we expect a fight back by interests that will be trampled upon.”
Oloyede noted that the board had envisaged that there would be hitches, but that these would not be insurmountable.
“This is to enable us harvest good ideas that can improve what we are doing,’’ he said.
He said the CBT had come to stay, adding that four African countries had indicated interest to understudy the process in Nigeria.
Having earlier warned people to be wary of fraudsters, Oloyede said JAMB would soon begin the sale of forms for the 2017 UTME.