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JAMB and Their "germ" e-Registration
Author: Abdulaziz Ahmad Abdulaziz Fagge | March 09, 2007

It baffles me a lot to see how we in Nigeria often want to do things beyond our scope, that we always want to look up to the developed countries and try to imitate them despite our wide gap in terms of development and civilisation. And the most painful of it is that usually the imitation is on certain miscellaneous things which we could not accomplish thus it ended of failing. I am talking of a trend of the Nigerian government and its agencies of computerizing their activities amidst inefficiency of carrying out the job on their part with computer illiteracy by over two third of the Nigerian population. These at the end lead to a failed and inept projects. Remember the e-voters card, e-banking, e-validation of Abuja Certificate of Occupancy, e-voting and more recently army recruitment e-registration, and JAMB e-registration for the University Matriculation Examination and other exams undertaken by the Board. But the questions to pose here are; are we really competent to bring about this computer revolution at once? Are we technologically and literally developed to successfully computerise such services? The answer undoubtedly is an emphatic NO. The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has followed the suit of computerisation from this year, and in lieu of the hitherto forms it used for the registration for the examinations, it provided a scratch card, which an applicant will buy on the lump sum of three thousands Naira (N3000) it is with the use of that, candidate will log on to their web and get himself registered. And they did not bother how a candidate can register whether he is a computer literate or not. And believe you me there are many students who have bought the form that have no knowledge of using a computer even those that know the computer have no clue on using the internet. Moreover, for the handful that has prior knowledge of using a computer and the internet, the registration is over Herculean task. One has no certainty that he can finish up with the registration within the stipulated fourteen (14) days despite that under normal circumstances it could be done in twenty minutes. This is due to the slow response of the server from the JAMB which perhaps could not cater the load considering the teeming applicants. In this present condition I doubt very much if all the eligible candidates will get registered before the closing date. Then what is the benefit of the computerisation if it ended up as a failure? Look at what happened in the case of INECís e-votersí card registration, despite all the addition of days for the exercise many entitled people were not registered. I am not trying to be an enemy of development but rather my argument is on the desirability in relation to suitability of modernising the set up. As a patriotic Nigerian I will really be glad to see my country advancing on the development and technological hierarchy but in such instance everybody has to be taken along. Meaning, the knowledge of computer and such other electronic machineries has to be taught from the grassroots. In the case of JAMB e-registration the Board have to take a quick and serious action to curtail the draw back in the exercise. First of all there is need for enhancing the level or speed of their saver in order to allow easy access as against its present chameleonic rate. Secondly there have to be postponement of the closing date of registration in order to allow the entire prospectus applicants gets registered.

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