By Joseph Erunke, ABUJA
PROSPECTIVE candidates of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, affected by multiple Short Message Service, SMS charges in the ongoing Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations, UTME and Direct Entry, DE, will be reimbursed, the board has said.
Recall, that some candidates have been unable to generate their profile code due to poor network or delayed response from telecommunication service providers even as they are being charged N50 for the attempts made.
But JAMB, speaking on the issue which has caused concerns among affected candidates, assured that nobody’s money would go away free as arrangements have been put in place to refund the excess deductions.
The Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, who spoke to newsmen, Monday, in Abuja, explained that both JAMB and the telecommunication service providers agreed on the refund.
Oloyede, however, said the refund does not apply to candidates who entered the wrong code while trying to generate their profile codes.
According to him, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and the Nigerian Communications Commission have been drafted to monitor the refund.
He said: “All those concerned will have to go back and ensure that when a service is not fully rendered and if there had been any charge that had been made this should be refunded to the candidates.
“We have reached this agreement with Digital Pulse that we will work with the service providers to make sure that the service providers refund where they have taken money from candidates.
“I have a parent who said she sent the message (to create a profile) 500 times; the message was not going, the service was not delivered and N50 was being deducted. This is the general outcry from across the country and that is one of the reasons we called this meeting.
“And the first thing is that any such money is refunded but because JAMB does not have the capacity to know whether this is refunded or not; we are not in a position to know whether the money has been refunded or not. We then decided that we are going to expand the stakeholders – that our stakeholders should include Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
“We will immediately invite them to join this task force of ours on this registration and examination so that any act of extortion they have the capacity to deal with any stakeholder that decides to extort candidates. The second one is to invite NCC.
“NCC is the regulatory body for all these telcos. Even if they give us assurance and it is not followed, we do not have the capacity to enforce. That is why we believe the NCC that has the statutory responsibility to enforce should also be brought in as part of our stakeholders.”
Oloyede further disclosed that by Friday, candidates would be open to the option of using the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data to generate their profile code.