After the confusion over poor server, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (JAMB-UTME), eventually kicked off last weekend, but not without more technical hitches. While most candidates attest that the registration was seamless, they say accessing their profile code, which is the first condition that precedes registration, is likened to the Biblical camel going through the eye of a needle. ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA, DAMOLA KOLA-DARE and KOLADE ADEYEMI (KANO), who visited Lagos, Ogun and Kano states, report.

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AFTER what seemed a shaky start, registration for this year’s Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (JAMB-UTME) finally kicked off weekend.

In some JAMB-accredited centres across Lagos, Ogun and Kano states, which The Nation visited, the process of registration had been a mixed tale with some centres experiencing hitch-free registration, and others having problems.

Nonetheless, what appeared the greatest challenge is the difficulty by prospective candidates accessing their profile code from JAMB portal.

Registration took off on Monday last week and the exercise is to end on Tuesday, February 4. However, many candidates, including operators at some of the JAMB-designated centres, are hoping the board would extend the deadline in view of the unending technical hiccups that have characterised the exercise.

When The Nation correspondents visited some JAMB-designated CBT centres last week, the majority of the centres were still putting finishing touches to their operations. Besides, JAMB server was down, and some operators at the centres had to prevail on many disappointed candidates to come back three or four days after, reassuring them that everything would have been normalised.

By weekend however, registration took off in earnest, albeit not without the ‘access code headache’.

As if that was not enough, some candidates complained that some centres did not have enough computer systems to accommodate them, while others bemoaned the epileptic networks and fluctuating JAMB servers.

JAMB’s spokesperson Dr Fabian Benjami has neither picked his call, nor responded to an SMS sent to his mobile number on the profile code.

According to JAMB registration procedure, using a particular mobile number, a candidate is to send his or her names (surname, first name and middle name) by SMS to 55019 after which the candidate receives a profile code of 10 characters on the same mobile number. The candidate, then, presents same at the point of procurement where E-pin is generated via SMS on the aforementioned mobile number. Armed with the E-pin, a candidate can then proceed to any JAMB accredited centre for onward registration.

At Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), a JAMB-designated centre, candidates expressed their joy over seamless registration. Nonetheless, they lamented that it took them hours, if not days to access the  code.

“I’m glad the server wasn’t slow now.   Everything went fine, but the profile code takes time,”said Ayo Olaseni.

“I’m very happy I did my registration today (Friday). When I first came on Monday (last week), they told me the server wasn’t active yet. I felt bad because I came from a far distance and the stress was too much for me to come here another day,” Olaseni added.

“I came as early as I can from Ipaja, but I’ve not registered yet,” said another aggrieved candidate Alade Oluwaseun, at the crowded centre.

“I just came outside to eat because I’m tired of queueing. Some that met me here have done their registration. I’ve been here since morning and the operators are not even attending to us.They were only registering some groups, saying its tutorial.

“The worst part of it is the profile code, which isn’t supposed to be more than five minutes. I waited for almost 45 minutes for just the profile code. I wonder if the registration itself won’t be up to an hour. I just pray I register before they close for the day,” added Adeniyi Gbolahan.

At the registration centre in Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), three candidates-Ayomide Peter, Adejoke Taiwo, Lanre Adeniyi and Tope Morenikeji – described their registration as slow though unencumbered.

Adeniyi, nonetheless, complained that the registration could be made faster in view of more candidates that were forming an army at various registration centres.

At another centre, 4 Balad Private School in Isawo Ikorodu, registration was equally smooth.

One of the candidates Okobio Segun, told our reporter that he was lucky to have received his profile code instantly.

Meanwhile, another candidate at the same centre, Praise Olanrewaju, was not too lucky.

“I came here since morning but I have not been able to do my regis-tration. I have sent my name since yesterday (Thursday) for the profile code but have not got a feedback; and without the profile code I can’t do anything.

Interestingly, a parent, Mrs Toyin Mathew, was considering getting a new SIM after unsuccessful attempts at securing a profile code from her mobile number on her daughter’s behalf.

“I came to complain, because my daughter sent her name to 55019 in order to get code for JAMB E-pin, but there was no reply from 55019. I was, therefore, advised to get a new SIM, and retry the process,” she lamented.

Two other candidates at the centre, Danjuma Ibrahim and Daniel Gilbert, also had similar predicament.

Unlike Danjuma however, Gilbert is considering toeing Mrs Mathew’s path.

“I have not done my registration yet. It’s been over four hours now. I sent my name to 55019 but am yet to receive a profile code. I was told without the code, I won’t be able to register. I was told to get a new MTN or Glo SIM,” he said.

Candidates who registered at TFL Global Computer Career Centre, Ijegun, Lagos State, however, are having a smooth sail.

A candidate at the centre, Osaye Bose, said: “I didn’t experience any difficulty registering for JAMB, since I have got my profile code and E-pin. So, I came to the CBT centre to register which didn’t even take me up to 30 minutes to do. The operators at the centre were accommodating enough to put us through the right information.

Meanwhile, the operator at the centre, Mr Henry Princewill, told The Nation that save for a handful of technical hitches, registration had been very successful.

He said: “The JAMB registration has been a success since it commenced. However, the little challenges we are faced with are majorly network issues which are   a result of too many people visiting the portal for registration at a time. The profile code has also been a setback for us.”

Princewill, nevertheless, bemoaned candidates many, who he said, were ill-prepared.

He continued: “The greatest challenge are the candidates. Most of them are adamant and don’t even know what they want. Many are not well-informed about the registration process or their choice institution and courses. Some don’t even know the subject combination for their chosen courses.

“Most of the candidates are arrogant, and don’t take to corrections. We have seen cases of candidates who registered here with wrong subject combination, and when we tried to correct them, they flared up and would not accept it. Funny enough, they came back to change it (subject combinations) once they realised their mistakes, and this has been a challenge here.”

Corroborating Princewill, the operator in charge of Davidoes Cafe, Ota,Ogun State, Abiodun Olurotimi, told our reporter on Friday last week that the centre, just like a few  others, was still awaiting access code from JAMB.

Olurotimi, who expressed optimism that this week would be different, appealed to JAMB to extend registration deadline in view of the hiccups being encountered.

His words: ”Ever since sales of form and registration started, we have not been able to do anything as candidates keep trooping in and out. Getting the access code from JAMB has been the major problem because without it, there is no way we can log in to their portal for registration.

“Candidates have been unhappy and we hope that JAMB would give us the access code this week so that we can start registration. Then, the registration should be extended because of the challenges we have faced since JAMB announced that registration should start”

A candidate Femi Akinsanya, voiced his frustrations at why things seem not to be working technology-wise. Akinsanya said he had visited more than one centre to register; yet the story remained the same- ‘no access code’.

“We seem not to have got it right in terms of technology in this country,” Akinsanya lamented.

“JAMB announced registration, but you find out that you can’t register because those centres have not been issued access code. I have been going from centre to centre and it is the same story of no access code. I am, therefore, using this medium to tell JAMB to do something very fast about this challenge.”

Re-echoing Akinsanya, another candidate,Temi Ogunsina, wondered why JAMB didn’t put its house in order before commencing registration.

He said: ”The whole thing is sickening. But for access code, I should have been through with registration. Why didn’t JAMB put proper structures in place before commencement? Why all the trouble about access code? JAMB ought to know that millions of candidates would register, so they should have planned it well.”

For Sunday Adeolu, he has refused to register because of the access code palaver. Adeolu wants all problems solved before he commences his registration.

“I don’t want to register now because my friends have told me they have not been able to register. I am taking my time. I know at the end of the day, JAMB might extend the registration because of the issues encountered. I just hope the server doesn’t get congested later on because of the rush to register by too many candidates,” he stressed.

In Kano State, checks by The Nation revealed that registration has been smooth in certain places and cumbersome in others.

At a centre, MS World, along Airport Road, Kano, a candidate Adedayo Aderonke, said: “The registration was not stressful, but the only challenge I had was yesterday (Thursday last week) when we were asked to generate our profile code. I sent my name to the code  about 3:30, but did not get the code until 7:30pm. By then, the centre had closed for the day.

“That is why I was here again today.  Fortunately, everything went well. There was no stress or delay.

Aminu Auwal Mafada, who equally registered at the centre, complained of inadequate computer systems.

“I am from Ungogo Local Government Area, Kano State,” Mafada began.

“During registration, I observed that there were insufficient computers to attend to the high number of candidates. We were kept waiting for several hours.

He continued: “The internet service was not fast enough. This situation frustrated a lot of candidates and made the whole process stressful and cumbersome. For instance, I was here yesterday (Thursday) for the registration but could not complete it because poor internet services. That is why I am again here today (Friday).

Aisha Abubakar, another candidate, spoke in the same vein.

“The process here is going on smoothly. The only problem we have is serious delays in accessing our profile code from JAMB portal. I must tell you that this is a problem from the JAMB server. I thank Allah, that at the end of the day, I was able to register,” she added.

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