The Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) began amidst heavy security in all approved computer-based test (CBT) centres on Saturday in Ebonyi State.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who monitored the examination across some centres in Abakaliki, reported that there was heavy presence of armed security operatives in all centres visited.

Some officials of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), who spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity, said the measure was taken to forestall possible security breaches.

This is in view of the festering security challenges in the state.

Meanwhile, the first batch of the examination started at 8.00 a.m. in most of the centres, after accreditation, an hour behind the board’s approved 7.00 a.m. and lasted for two hours.

Two candidates, Uchenna Agwu and Eunice Elom, who wrote the examination commended JAMB for putting adequate security measures in place.

The duo also applauded the board for ensuring that all approved CBT centres provided candidates with the conducive environment to write the examination.

“There are enough security measures in place at the Annunciation Information Communication Technology (ICT) centre.

“The computers and other internet facilities are in good working condition.

“There is an improvement in the level of preparation by the board in this 2020 /2021 UTME examination when compared to previous years,” one of the candidates said.

Candidates at the Comprehensive School of Management and Technology in Abakaliki told NAN that the examination started behind schedule.

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They, however, said adequate security arrangements were put in place to protect the candidates and officials.

Two candidates, Emeka Agara and Raymond Ukpai, said the centre was peaceful while the computers and other ICT accessories “functioned very well”.

“We are grateful for the peaceful and successful conduct of the first batch of examination.

“We pray that subsequent batches will be hitch free.

“We also commend the board for placing a premium on the safety of candidates and their officials,” another candidate said.

NAN reported that Ebonyi has 12 approved CBT centres for the 2020 /2021 UTME.

(NAN)

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