Education, News

JAMB Creates 46 New Exam Centres

The Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) said on Tuesday it had opened 46 new examination centres nationwide.

The number brings to 246, such centres opened in the last two weeks ahead of the 2013 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

Mr Fabian Benjamin, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the board, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that with the new ones, 3,000 centres were now in place for the smooth conduct of the examination slated for April.

NAN reports that more than 1.6 million candidates applied to sit for the examination, 90,000 of whom would be tested with the newly-introduced Computer-based Test and Dual-based Test.

According to JAMB, the number of applicants in this year’s examination is higher than the 1.4 million figure of 2012.

The sale of the forms closed on Friday.

Also on Tuesday, the board said contrary to some reports, it did not impose examination centres on candidates or nominate for them during registration for its examinations.

This is contained in a statement signed by Benjamin in Lagos.

“We wish to state unequivocally that the board does not impose examination centres or towns on candidates at the point of registration.” the statement said.

It said that examination towns and centres were displayed at the point of uploading the candidate’s details, during which the applicant was allowed to choose an examination town so desired.

It explained that the board only assigned centres within the towns the candidates chose, each of which could take a maximum of 540 candidates.

According to the statement, the number of centres for the forthcoming 2013 UTME in Lagos and other states for Paper and Pencil Test have been increased.

It said that Lagos State alone had 450 centres for the paper test, indicating a 20 per cent increase over 2012 figure.

The statement said that though the board was not insensitive to some of the complaints by candidates of their centres being far from their areas of residence, it would not be pressurised to use unfit centres.

It noted that such centres, also referred to as “special centres”, were usually used for examination malpractice and other unethical behaviours.

The statement said the computer test policy, which was approved by the Federal Government, would not reduce the number of centres used for the conduct of the examination.

It said rather it had created opportunity for a reasonable percentage of candidates who would have gone outside their places of residence, to now write the examination within their towns.

The statement said the computer test, which was an internationally accepted best practice for the conduct of examinations, was already being practised by some universities in their Post-UTME.

It said the test would reduce examination malpractice to the barest minimum, enhance prompt delivery of scores and help to restore confidence in public examinations, as it would reflect the true ability of candidates.

The statement also explained that the Prof. Dibu Ojerinde-led management of the board, had over time, reduced the number of results cancelled or withheld, with the introduction of innovations like the bio-metric data capturing.


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Education, News

Unijos Says It Owes Plateau Revenue Board N300m

The University of  Jos on Tuesday said it owed the Plateau Board of Internal Revenue “only a little over N300 million” as against N3.8 billion claimed by the board.

Mr Ninnan Denden, counsel to the university, told the Federal High Court in Jos that “even though we just got the brief yesterday, the university does not owe the board such a huge amount“.

“What we are aware of is something a little above N300 million and not N3.8 billion as quoted by the board of internal revenue.’’

The board, through its counsel, Mr Philemon Dafi, had on Feb. 28, sued the university over alleged unpaid N3.8 billion taxes before Justice Ambrose Allagoa.

The board accused the university of “deliberately’’ withholding the amount, being outstanding unremitted tax liabilities of  Pay as You Earn (PAYE) of its employees between 2005 and 2010.

Dafi claimed that in pursuance to the Personal Income tax Act 2011 (as amended), the court should compel the institution to pay the accumulated unpaid tax to the board without further delay.

He alleged that the board tried to make the university see reasons why it should cooperate and pay up the debt, but that all such entreaties were rebuffed.

The board also prayed for imposition of penalty and interest on the university over its failure to file tax returns and remit the tax collected when due within 90 days as required by law.

Dafi urged the court to compel the university to pay its taxes just as other federal institutions as a proof of a “statutorily responsible corporate organisation’’.

When the case came up for hearing on Tuesday, Denden asked for adjournment, to enable him to reply properly to the writ.

But Dafi opposed the application, saying that the university was served very well with enough time for it to have replied the writ for hearing of the case.

He, however, said if at all the court would consider the application, he would ask for N250,000 costs.

“My Lord, I am opposing the application for adjournment, but in the event the court will grant it, I have no option than to ask for cost of N250,000 because I came all the way from Kano for this case.’’

Allogoa granted Denden’s application and awarded a cost of N30,000 to Dafi.

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Education, News

Disengaged Teachers: NUT Seeks Resolution Of Face-off With Bauchi Govt

The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) on Thursday called on the Bauchi Government to as a matter of urgency, resolve the contentious issues of the disengaged 2000 teachers in the state.

The NUT President, Mr Micheal Olukoya made the call while briefing newsmen on the face-off between the Bauchi State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and the state wing of the NUT in Abuja.

“It should be recalled that Bauchi Universal Education Board

sometimes in December 2012, disengaged almost about 2000 primary school teachers on the inexcusable grounds of possessing a National Certificate of Education of the National Teachers Institution.

“All efforts to convince the Bauchi Government to appreciate that NTI as a federal institution legally established to train and
certify teachers in this regards fell on deaf ears.

“At the intervention of the Elders Forum in Bauchi, the state government accepted to verify the genuineness of the certificate.

“Yet till date, the teachers have not been recalled, even after the intervention of the elders and the National leadership of the union,’’ he said.

Olukoya said that the leadership of the union had made an attempt to meet with Gov. Isa Yuguda of Bauchi to amicably resolve the issue but was “rebuffed’’.

He said that payments of teachers’ salaries from January till date had been stopped while the state government had also impounded the union’s dues.

Olukoya, therefore, called for a peaceful resolution of the contentious issues which included the return of the disengaged teachers back to the classroom, while the process of verification of their certificates continued.

He called for the immediate release of the salaries of all the teachers in the interest of equity, fairness and justice.

He also called for the release of the check-off dues of the NUT in compliance with the Trade Union Act of 2004.

The Trade Union Act stated that it is mandatory on employers to deduct check-off dues from workers wages and release same unconditional to the registered office of the union.

Olukoya said that the union was desirous of a quick end to the dispute and called on the state governor to grant the leadership of the union an immediate audience to dialogue ways of industrial peace in the sector.

The National leadership of the union assured teachers in the state that the union was doing everything possible to resolve all issues with the relevant authorities.

He commended the Bauchi state Elders Advisory Committee, state House of Assembly and the Nigerian Labour Congress state council for their efforts in fashioning out ways to resolve the issues. (NAN)

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