Hajj commission offers UTME top scorers free pilgrimage

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has said the National Hajj Commission has requested the details of some top scoring candidates in the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination to perform the holy pilgrimage for free.

The board said some commercial banks in the country have also demanded the top 100 UTME candidates for scholarships to study in tertiary institutions across the country.

The board stated this in its weekly bulletin obtained by our correspondent on Monday, adding that such offers were a “demonstration of the acceptability and confidence in the board’s products.”

JAMB said, “The conduct of the 2019 UTME has witnessed a dramatic turn of events with many startling discoveries and the capacity of the board to navigate the emerging threats. As a result of the handling of the crises and performances, many corporate organisations have called on the board to furnish them with top scoring candidates to offer scholarships to study in tertiary institutions of their choice or even to perform holy pilgrimage.

“This pilgrimage was offered by the National Hajj Commission. There are banks which are also demanding the top 100 UTME candidates for scholarships. This is a stamp on the approval of the board’s products and efforts at repositioning the conduct of public examinations in Nigeria.

“The fight against examination corruption should therefore be fought on all fronts. This is because of the board’s belief that the first manifestation of corruption is cheating in an examination.”

JAMB, however, noted that corporate organisations should vary their stipulated conditions for scholarships, “otherwise the same 10 top candidates would benefit from multiple offers, thus depriving other equally qualified candidates the fruits of sponsorship.

“In this regard, a proviso that the board should provide top scorers who must not have benefitted from any scholarship programme will address the challenge and spread the benefits to other deserving candidates.

“These organisations, including the candidates, are to, however, note that scoring high in the UTME alone is not a guarantee for admission as other factors such as the Ordinary Level results and the post-UTME will have to be incorporated for a holistic cut-off score,” the board added.

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