Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has said the government will henceforth pay the form fee of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) for all indigenes and non-indigenes.
This will start in 2020.
Wike spoke on Thursday when Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ish’aq Oloyede, visited him at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
The governor said the government is committed to ensuring that indigent students are not denied the opportunity of sitting for the examination.
He said: “From 2020, UTME forms for indigenes and non-indigenes will be paid for by the government. It is important for us to ensure that children of the less privileged don’t bear this burden. This offer is to ensure that no qualified candidate is denied the opportunity to write the UTME. For some parents, the fee is nothing, but there are families that cannot afford the fees.”
The governor also announced the allocation of land at the Greater Port Harcourt City to JAMB for the construction of its Zonal Office.
He allocated a block of offices to JAMB as its temporary office, following the dilapidation of the current office, and also donated an operational vehicle to the outfit.
Prof. Oloyede praised Wike for his commitment to the development of education, especially his abolition of fees for secondary and primary schools. He appealed to governor to allocate a temporary office to JAMB for its daily operations as the current office was totally dilapidated.
Oloyede added that in view of the number of candidates writing UTME in the state, JAMB requires land to build a mega computer based test centre. “There are only 12 computer based test centres in Rivers State. This number is grossly inadequate. We urge Your Excellency to allocate land for JAMB to build a mega computer based test centre for at least 500 candidates.
“You are the closest governor to JAMB. Rise and help us. Funding is no longer our problem. We retain N2 billion annually from our Internally Generated Revenue,” Oloyede said.