6th May, 2022
By Millicent Ifeanyinchukwu/ Kemi Oladipo
Some of the candidates for the 2022 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Lagos, on Friday, arrived late at their centres, blaming the early morning downpour.
They are now pleading with the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to give them a chance for a retake.
The JAMB organized examination began in some 750 accredited centres nationwide, with 1.7 million candidates registered to participate.
In centres monitored in Lagos, candidates scheduled for the first session at 7.00 a.m. were mostly affected by the downpour.
The latecomers were denied entry as majority battled the downpour to arrive their centres on time.
A correspondent who visited the WAEC Test and Training Centre (WTTC), one of the accredited centres for the examination in Ogba, noticed a group of candidates, who were desperately seeking help, after having missed the test.
The same situation also applied at the Wisdom House Centre, off Yaya Abatan, also in Ogba, Command Secondary School in Ipaja and Lagooz Schools in Orile-Agege centre.
Other centres visited by NAN are Timeon Kairos Polytechnic and Professional Institute, Ile-Epo, and Lagos Abeokuta Expressway.
Despite the downpour, however, many candidates, accompanied by their parents, turned up as early as 6.00 a.m. to beat the examination time in centres visited.
Some of the candidates, who failed to meet up with their schedule, blamed the heavy rain for their plight, appealing to JAMB’s management to look into the matter.
Miss Esther Oladokun who lives at Ajunwon in Ogun, a border with Lagos, said that she left her house at 5.30 a.m, knowing full well the time of her examination.
Unfortunately, she was caught up in the rain and could not arrive at the WTTC in good time. According to her, the vehicle she boarded, broke down on the way.
She boarded another vehicle, only to get to her centre at 8.13 a.m but was not allowed access by the examination officials.
Miss Chiamaka Ezeaputa said left her home at Ota, near Bells University, as early as 5 am, hoping to be at her centre before 6.30 a.m.
But the rain and traffic created problems for her. After being stuck, she took a motorcycle ride at an exorbitant rate, but arrived at the centre at 9.20 a.m.
However, she was denied access to the hall by the examination officials.
One of the centre’s supervisors at the WTTC, who did not want her name in print, said that the examination began at exactly 8.30 a.m and lateness at the examination centre was not allowed.
“This examination commenced at 8:30 a.m. Even with the rain, I got here at about 5:30 a.m. and everything was set. All we needed for the commencement of the examination was in place.
“We were supposed to start the examination by 8.00 a.m. but because of the rain, we had to give 30 minutes grace. At least you can see the hall is almost filled. These, too, came here early enough, despite the rain.
“We have over 240 candidates each, in both the centre one and two, out of the 250 capacity benchmark for each of these centres,” she said.
So far, the exercise had been seamless, and all the backup equipment in the centre, was top-notch, she added.
“But a situation where some candidates for the examination at a specific schedule attempted the examination, while others failed to, for whatever reason, that examination will not be rescheduled.
“We do not reschedule the examination, it has come and gone. There are rules guiding all examinations; ours is not an exception,”