The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has suspended the use of National Identity Number, NIN, as prerequisite for registration of candidates for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME.
JAMB registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, who announced the suspension at a briefing in Bwari, Abuja, on Saturday, said the suspension followed technical hitches encountered by candidates during the registration process and other logistical issues at designated National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, offices nationwide.
Recall that the Federal Executive Council, FEC, had directed the Board to implement the use of NIN in the registration process for the UTME without specifying the time to commence the implementation.
Oloyede however said in compliance with statutory provisions, the Board made NIN registration compulsory for the 2020 UTME, adding that it was based on law and very productive until Friday last week when JAMB reconsidered its stand.
According to him, the move was aimed at eliminating identity fraud and multiple registration during the UTME exercise.
He said the Board came to the conclusion to suspend the NIN requirement as it had no time to effectively implement the policy since the 2020 UTME registration is starting on Monday 13th January 2020, and the actual examination slated for 14th of March to 4th of April 2020.
He therefore deferred the implementation of NIN for 2021 UTME to afford prospective candidates a whole year to embark on registration before the period of registration for the exam arrives, adding that candidates will follow the same procedure for registration as used in 2019.
“In compliance with statutory provisions, we commenced the registration of NIN as a prerequisite for registration for 2020 UTME. The decision was based on law, on directive but more importantly, the fact that it is the right way to go.
“It has been very productive, but we got to a point yesterday that knowing fully well that the registration for 2020 UTME and Direct would start on Monday the 13the and would go on till 17th of February, five weeks and we have just those five weeks because everything in the educational sector is programme.
“UTME examination must be written before 4th of April because WASCE starts on the 6th of April and immediately after WASCE NABTEB and after NABTEB NECO. So on the basis of this we came to a very sad position yesterday that for 2020 we are not going to use NIN as Prerequisite for registration.
“We are therefore suspending this till the subsequent year 2021 when all candidates would have been given what appears like a one year notice that they would have opportunity for doing their registration,” he said.
Also speaking, the Director General of NIMC, Mr Aliyu Azeez, indicated that the agency was collaborating with JAMB in line with the law to provide a verifiable form of identity to applicants to fend off fraud.
Azeez said the suspension of the policy would afford NIMC the opportunity to roll out more centres to and candidates the time to conveniently carry out their registration before 2021 UTME.
According to him, the commission had only 1,000 registration centres across the country and was having an influx registrants, adding that the commission was supposed to have about 4,000 centres to carry out registration services anytime.
He appealed to prospective candidates to use the window of opportunity during this time to enrol themselves and their children in order to avoid being a victim of the enforcement.