JOINT Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB) Registrar Prof. Ishaq Oloyode said yesterday the board would abolish scratch cards to register for and check results, with effect from 2017.

Oloyode, who spoke at the National Executive Council meeting of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) in Abuja, said students would generate a PIN number for themselves from their phone or computers before registering for examinations.

He said the board would not support a situation where banks and vendors hoard the cards, only to sell them at a higher price.

The registrar challenged NASU to get involved in the ownership of Computer-Based Testing Centres, saying those who own the centres are businessmen merely exploiting students.

He added that if academic-based stakeholders, such as NASU, own CBT centres, the board will be confident the examinations will be conducted without hitch.

Also speaking at the event, Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC) Prof. Abubakar Rasheed said the commission would build a system in line with global challenges.

He assured the union the commission would address issues regarding its agreement with the Federal Government, adding that he has met with pro-chancellors on the matter.

The executive secretary said he would meet with vice chancellors of the about 140 public and private universities and other institutions affiliated to them, and state the commission’s position, which will be forwarded to the government.

Rasheed noted that the commission would take submissions from all unions in the universities so that its memo to the minister of Education will capture every issue.

He said: “I will lead a team of NUC management to a meeting towards the end of next week with vice chancellors of federal universities, then vice chancellors of state universities, vice chancellors of private universities, heads of institutions affiliated to universities to discuss challenges confronting the university system.

“We will also discuss challenges inhibiting the implementation of the 2009 Federal Government/unions agreement. Within the next two weeks of concluding the discussions, I will raise a memo drawing the attention of the minister of Education to the agreement”.

However, NASU’s General Secretary Peters Adeyemi told reporters that “government has not demonstrated the will to implement the agreement. Government is a continuum and agreements are binding on successive governments, and this government must know that. The labour unions in universities are unhappy with the way things are going in the system.

“We think the executive secretary of NUC inherited this liability, and as a responsible union, we needed to give him an opportunity to address this problem holistically, and we think we should give him some time to see if there would be results. The result of his engagements would determine how quickly industrial action can be prevented or otherwise.”

Adeyemi hinted that the unions may not give a lengthy time for declaration of industrial action saying “we have waited for so long, and we are not willing to wait too long again. The government must do the needful before crisis would start in the universities, lest Nigerians say we have started again when we declare strike.

‘’We are calling on Nigerians to help us beg this government that our patience is running out.”

He berating government for citing economic recession for default in the payment of salaries, pointing out that such statements show insensitivity on the part of the ruling class.

He said: “It is wicked for anybody in government to say justify non-payment of salaries on recession. Who caused us to be in recession? Is it workers? No. We are pushed to where we are by the ruling class irrespective of the political parties they belong. It is the collusion of the ruling class that put us where we are.”

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