Four leading commercial banks in the country have offered free scholarships to first 100 candidates that wrote this year’s unified tertiary matriculation examinations.The banks are offering the top 100 UTME candidates scholarships to study in tertiary institutions of their choice across the country.
The list of the 100 candidates that came top of the UTME would be forwarded to the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board this week for action.
The Head of Information of JAMB, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, confirmed the offer to our reporter in Abuja on Monday, adding that some candidates would have the opportunity of their names appearing on the lists of the four banks because of their UTME scores.
However, Benjamin failed to give the names of the banks, saying the commercial banks have asked that their identities be kept secret.
He said the scholarship offers were a demonstration of the acceptability and confidence in the board’s products.
Dr. Benjamin said:
“About four banks have indicated interest to sponsor top 100 candidates. Two banks have requested for top ten and two for top hundred candidates.
“We will submit the names of the candidates to the banks this week.”
He explained that the conduct of the 2019 UTME had witnessed a dramatic turn of events with many startling discoveries and the capacity of the board to navigate such emerging threats.
“As a result of the handling of the crises and performances, many corporate organisations have called on the board to furnish it with top scoring candidates to offer scholarships to study in tertiary institutions of their choice.
“There are banks which are 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,” he said.
Benjamin urged corporate organisations seeking for UTME candidates to sponsor to 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,” he said.
He added: “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.”
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