The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, asked the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to suspend its “no NIN, no JAMB” policy until 2021.
This followed the adoption of a motion moved by Zainab Gimba (APC-Borno).
The National Identity Number (NIN) is the nation’s database capturing exercise-driven data towards assigning a unique identity to every Nigerian.
JAMB, in September, through Fabian Benjamin, its spokesperson, had informed prospective candidates that the NIN will be compulsory for the UTME registration in 2020.
Mr Benjamin explained that the move was aimed at ensuring the biometric and other necessary details of candidates were captured, to check examination malpractice.
The lawmakers lauded this move, saying JAMB’s collaboration with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) would ensure a more transparent UTME process.
Nonetheless, it urged the board to delay the process until 2021 “in order to allow more time and better awareness for prospective candidates”.
Presenting her motion, Mrs Gimba made a case for prospective candidates from remote locations in the country. She said they are at a disadvantage when it comes to fulfilling the pre-registration rites of NIN.
She also argued that the notice given by JAMB is too sudden and not sufficient to allow all prospective UTME candidates to be captured by the NIMC.
“The House recalls that sometime this year, an official of the NIMC disclosed that less than 20 per cent of Nigerians were captured in the NIMC’s database. Though there has been a massive turnout of Nigerians to be captured by the NIMC, most have been hindered by infrastructural challenges like poor internet network, power failure/no power supply and sometimes inadequate manpower or equipment to attend to them.
“The House is also concerned that younger Nigerians and minors constitute the larger number of those yet to be captured by the NIMC mainly due to the prior registration criteria which captured persons aged 18 and above only.
“JAMB needs to establish a better collaboration with the NIMC, state and local governments for efficient and less-stressful registration of prospective candidates.”
Unanimously adopting the motion, the House urged NIMC to establish more registration centres. It also mandated its Committees on Tertiary Education and Services to identify the challenges facing the NIMC in order to tackle them and increase its funding if necessary.