Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) yesterday suspended the use of National Identification Number (NIN) as a requirement for registration in the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE).
The board, therefore, deferred the use of NIN as a condition for the registration of UTME till 2021 due to confusion and controversies that the requirement had generated days before the 2020 registration commenced.
JAMB’s Registrar, Mr. Ishaq Oloyede revealed the suspension at a news conference at the headquarters of the board, Abuja, attributing the decision to technical difficulties the applicants confronted in the registration process.
Oloyede addressed the news conference in Abuja alongside the Director-General of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr. Aliyu Azeez, among others yesterday
JAMB’s management had in October last year insisted that only candidates with NIN would be eligible to register for the 2020 UTME and DE with a view to ending the challenges of multiple registration.
The registration for UTME and DE was scheduled to begin on Monday, January 13 and end on February 17. But the new requirement for the registration sparked undue pressure at the NIN centres, leading to reported cases of extortion and difficulty the applicants encountered before they could register for NIN.
With the challenges that trailed NIN’s registration, Oloyede yesterday announced that the board had set aside NIN as a condition for the registration for the 2020 UTME and DE, citing difficulties faced by candidates in the NIN registration, the registrar
He, therefore, asked all candidates to disregard the use of National Identity Number for the 2020 registration and strictly comply with other procedures the board had outlined for the registration.
He, however, disclosed that the board would reconsider its partnership with the NIMC on the use of NIN for registration for the 2021 UTME and DE.
Oloyede said the NIN “will be a necessary requirement in the 2021 UTME and Direct Entry registrations. Plans are underway for the provision of a more advanced system that would be more efficient for the exercise.
“We came to a decision on Friday and decided that we will suspend the use of NIN as a prerequisite for the 2020 UTME and DE registration until 2021.
“By then, all candidates would have been given one year notice to register. This does not affect our permanent and ad hoc staff who will participate in the exercise as they will require the NIN for verification.”
Oloyede said the board and the NIMC would continue to share intelligence reports as well as other plans for the smooth conduct of the exercise in the future, saying the NIN as a requirement for the UTME/DE registration was to tackle identity fraud during the examinations.
According to him, we have gone round and seen the passion and commitment of the candidates; the reality on the ground is that what we expect is not attainable at the moment, so we shall not inflict more pain on candidates.”
Also at the news conference, Azeez, said that the move was necessary as the commission was overwhelmed with the exercise within the short time given, saying NIMC had only 1,000 centres around nationwide or the exercise and would need up to 4,000 centres.
He, however, said the partnership with JAMB would continue while advising parents and candidates for the 2021 exercise to use the opportunity to acquire the number within the stipulated time to avoid last-minute rushes.
Azeez also said that by 2021, NIMC registration would be available at JAMB Computer-Based Tests centres nationwide with operators on the ground to capture candidates.