September 18, 2014 – The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria has kicked against plans by the Federal Government to outlaw use of business centres for registering for the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), the West African Examination Council (WAEC), the National Examinations Council (NECO) and other examination bodies in the country.
It also called on all examination bodies in the country to fashion out other modalities that will make the process of examination registration more convenient and corruption-free, adding that the nearer the centres to the students the better.
In a statement signed by President and Secretary of TUC, Comrades Bobboi Kaigama and Musa Lawal, the body noted that such an action would be fraught with danger, noting that it could lead to over-crowding, loss of lives through stampedes, road accidents, robbery attacks and other unnecessary inconveniences.
“It will also discourage those students who are lukewarm about acquiring formal education from more readily abstaining from registering for the examinations.
“We would want to believe that the reported news is yet a rumour. We simply do not see its logic. For any state to have only two registration centres is absurd, especially with the appreciable improvements that the Federal Government and various state governments have recorded in the educational sector”, TUC said.
The labour union noted that lives of many of the students who would have to travel long distances to the designated or approved centres would be endangered, adding that the policy will also deny the registration centres their means of livelihood.
“Furthermore, the proposed move could easily occasion much corruption in the system, as the students may find themselves being extorted and compelled to part with money before they are attended to. Also, some students might not be able to return to their places of residence the same day, and might resort to passing the night in strange and/or unsafe environment.
“Those who insist on going back home will definitely spend more money, thereby wasting resources and risking their lives. The policy, if implemented, will also give room to multiple errors as the students might not have the opportunity to cross-check the information supplied by them, contrary to what obtains in the present situation of online registration where such errors can be promptly identified and corrected.
“For the states in the North where Boko Haram insurgents have become thorns in the flesh of the people and their respective state governments, causing such large number of young people to gather at approved public registration points could prove dangerous. We do not want to witness another case of abduction by the insurgents. Neither do we wish for a repeat of the recent Nigeria Immigration Service’s recruitment saga. We have enough challenges on our hands and must not make things worse.
“Getting thousands of security personnel to man centres in the North at a time when military barracks and police stations and colleges have been attacked by the sect may not be the best solution”, the group said.