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      The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it is optimistic that the conduct of its 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), which begins on Friday, will be successful.

      The Head, Media and Information of the board, Dr Fabian Benjamin, expressed the optimism in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.

      NAN reports that 1.6 million candidates, inclusive of 367 visually impaired candidates, are participating in the examination scheduled to end on March 17.

      According to Benjamin, the board has put logistics in place to ensure the conduct of one of the best examinations in recent times.

      “If you come around to the board, you will find out that the atmosphere is relaxed.

      “We are fully ready and on top of the game, just as we expect a hitch-free conduct of the examination nationwide.

      “Today, we will start with just one session, which has been the tradition every year.

      “From tomorrow (Saturday), we shall have the full three sessions for the candidates as stated in their examination slips.

      “Our advice, therefore, is for the candidates to ensure that they adhere strictly to all the rules guiding the examination.

      “There is no shortcut to success. Our helplines are always open to candidates with issues.

      “They should feel free to talk to us rather than resort to self-help or engage the services of fraudsters, who might want to take advantage of them,’’ he said.

      An official at one of the examination centres, Dalewares Institute of Technology in Lagos, Mr David Babalola, told NAN that the centre was prepared for the test.

      He said some candidates slated for the examination on Friday had been around the centre as early as 8.00 a.m.

      “But they will have to wait till about 1.00 p.m. when they will be allowed in for their accreditation,’’ he said.

      Babalola said the examination would start by 3.00 p.m. as directed by JAMB.

      At the WAEC International Office in Ikeja, another centre for the examination, the official in charge, Mrs Adedoyin Oladipo, told NAN that the centre was fully prepared for the conduct of the examination.

      “We are fully ready here but the examination will be starting proper by 3.00 p.m.

      “The candidates scheduled for that time have been here early enough but we cannot start until we are told to do so,’’ she said.

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