The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says the board will introduce the use of USSD code as an option to the SMS process of generating a profile code for registration.
According to NAN, Is-haq Oloyede, JAMB’s registrar, broke the news during a briefing at the board’s headquarters in Abuja on Monday.
The registrar said the development was part of measures the board had put in place to address some challenges experienced by candidates of its Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
Oloyede said the use of the USSD code would commence from April 30.
He said the board had received complaints especially by parents of candidates who had tried to register their children and wards but had been unsuccessful.
Oloyede said that service providers had, however, continued to extort candidates by deducting N50 SMS charges at each trial to generate a profile without a positive response.
“Parents are being extorted when sending requests unsuccessfully and at the end, nothing comes or is delayed by network and yet, N50 is being charged and deducted,” he said.
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“You must note that this charges do not come to JAMB but to the service providers. Therefore, we have asked all those concerned to go back and ensure that where a service is not fully rendered and charges were deducted, such monies should be refunded to the candidates.
“JAMB do not have the capacity to enforce this refund or monitor compliance but we are expanding our stakeholders to include Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to do it.
“They will join our task force to check on any act of extortion, while we also invite Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to monitor and check on these service providers.
“Another option we are creating asides sending an SMS to 55019 to generate a profile code will include dialing 550191*NIN#. This will, however, take effect from Friday, April 30.”
The registrar, who frowned at candidates’ inability to follow the right procedure for the exercise, also said that the board, alongside its major stakeholders, had agreed to accommodate common errors made during the registration process.
Some of the errors, he noted, were candidates mistakenly sending ‘NIN’ with no space before typing the actual number.
“Some type without spacing, some include comas and even hyphen. We have tried to enlighten the public on how to send and receive a successful profile code but candidates seem to get it wrong. We will work out modalities to accommodate all these common errors,” he added.
“That is to say that, whether one puts space or not, hyphen or commas, the message should be able to deliver.
“We have asked the service providers to go back and adjust their systems so that such errors are accommodated and we will also go back to the drawing board and incorporate these errors into our systems.
“This should take five days starting from today. We believe that after Friday, April 30, those who make such common errors should be able to generate a profile code.”
Oloyede also said candidates who had registered for UTME in the previous year could also generate a code with the same telephone number, following the 2021 process of generating a profile code.
He explained that the only difference between the previous registration process and that of this year was the inclusion of NIN.
Oloyede said the same code might be sent to the candidate but would have undergone an upgrade from the board’s system.
He also noted that the board was connecting effectively with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on the registration process and have had not much to worry about.