The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, on Saturday, January 11, 2020, bowed to public complaints and suspended the use of National Identity Number, NIN, as a pre-requisite for candidates to sit for this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, and Direct Entry examination.
Is-haq Oloyede, the registrar of JAMB, said there are inadequate enrollment centres across the country. According to him, the 1,000 enrollment centres operated by the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, nationwide are not enough to successfully register applicants ahead of the conduct of the examinations.
Registration for the examination will commence on tomorrow and end on February 17 while the examination will start on 14 of March and end on the 4 of April 2020. The board directed applicants to send their names to 55019 to create their profile for registration. Speaking to reporters in Abuja, Oloyede said: “We had agreed that NIN would be a pre-requisite for registration for 2020 UTME which will commence on Monday. But there was public outcry on the frustrations and difficulties that candidates are subjected to before getting the NIN.
“We were forced to review our strategies and we arrived at a point that it was obvious that we could not go ahead with NIN as pre-requisite for registration because of the challenges that might affect the participation of large number of candidates. To this end, we have decided to suspend the use of NIN for 2020 UTME exercise. We have unanimously agreed to shift the use of NIN to 2021 when candidates must have been given enough time and opportunity to get the NIN. However, about 11, 000 of our staff, permanent and adhoc, that would participate in the exercise would still be required to submit their NIN for verification.”
Oloyede explained that the adoption of the number for registration was aimed at curbing multiple registration and other infractions during the conduct of its examinations, adding that the board was ready to fish out exam fraudsters during the conduct of this year’s exams. In his remarks, NIMC DG said the commission needed 4,000 enrollment centres nationwide to carry out registration services anytime. Aziz said the commission would improve on its facilities and manpower ahead of 2021 UTME exercise. He admonished applicants that would participate in the 2021 UTME exercise to start the process of getting their NIN as early as possible to avoid the rush that would come with the deadline.
Meanwhile, the Muslim Congress, TMC, and the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, MSSN, hailed JAMB for being responsive to the plight of prospective candidates who were finding it difficult to enrol for NIN. TMC Secretary-General AbdulWasiu Bangbala described the suspension as a welcome development. At a briefing on Saturday, January 11, 2020, in Lagos, Bangbala said Oloyede said: “The suspension will ensure millions of students who want to write JAMB exam are not disenfranchised. It will also make the students prepare adequately for the exam. The sufferings of the students willing to write the examination were unbearable. JAMB has done well coming up with the initiative but the process was frustrated by the bad eggs in the NIMC who see it as a money-making venture. We hope the process would be re-introduced after the exam by JAMB authority.
“Prof Oloyede has indeed demonstrated transparency, humility and deep commitment in the positive transformation of JAMB. He is indeed a beacon of hope for a viable, responsive and responsible public service. it is indeed a laudable achievement that JAMB was able to generate 20 billion in three years to the coffers of the Federal Government. We urge other public officers to emulate this amiable professor in the discharge of their responsibilities.”
Saheed Ashafa, the Lagos State Area unit Amir (President) of the MSSN, urged the regulatory authority to put in place adequate monitoring checks and balance mechanism to resolve logistic issues and ease the process. “Issue of extortion by some officials of the commission must be addressed without fear or favour,” he said. Dr. Ashafa said NIMC must address the congestion at various centres to enable eligible citizens enrol as expectedHe said: “Government must diligently probe NIN registration centres where people are coerced to pay in order to be registered.”