By Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) has concluded plans to go ahead with the 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) despite the ongoing strike by the non-academic staff of Nigerian universities.
The Head of Media and Public Relations, JAMB, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, in a statement yesterday, clarified that while the board would not take sides and respects the decision of the non-teaching staff, it would however go ahead with the examination as scheduled.
â€œThe attention of the board has been drawn to the release by NAN on the boardâ€™s mock examination slated for February 26, 2018 where I was quoted to have said the board will go on with the mock examination irrespective of the on going sstrike by the non academic unions of universities nation wide.
â€œFirst, the board wants to appreciate the unions for the support it has given the board in the successesÂ of previous examinations and sympathized with the unions over the present predicaments,â€ Benjamin stated.
The Chairman ofÂ the Joiny Action Committee (JAC) of the non-academic staff, Samson Ugwoke, had in more than one occasion warned that they would not cooperate with ongoing admission processes in the nationâ€™s universities as long as the strike susbsists.
The non-teaching staff union comprise of three main unions including: Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union of Associated Institutions (NASU) and the National Association Academic Technologists (NAAT).
But the JAMB spokesman said the board could not have said it would go on with the examination with or without their suspending the strike rather the board found itself in a situation that it hasÂ to go on with conduct ofÂ the examination.
â€œWe are still hopeful that an amicable resolution of the crisis would be reached before the date of the examination. The unions are our critical stakeholders and their absence would be felt if theÂ issue is not resolves before February 26. We had prayed and work tirelessly to ensure that the strike was called off hence our continued shifting of the dates for the examination,â€ he stated.
Meanwhile, Benjamin saidÂ the heads of all public examination bodies in NigeriaÂ had met on Friday last week to harmonise its examination calender with the view of having a seamless examination.