The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board JAMB has suspended the use of the National Identification Number for registration for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination UTME.
The registrar of JAMB, Ishaq Oloyede, who stated this while briefing journalists in Abuja on Saturday, said the move was to provide more time for candidates to get their national identification numbers.
He said the suspension was also to address the technical challenges experienced at some centres.
He asked candidates to disregard the use of NIN for the 2020 registration and strictly comply with other procedures for the registration. He however said that JAMB will consider the use of NIMC for 2021 exams.
The board last year said from 2020, candidates will register for its examinations with their national ID numbera to solve the challenges of multiple registration.
”We came to a decision yesterday and decided that we will suspend the use of NIN as a prerequisite for the 2020 UTME and Direct Entry (DE) registration until 2021. By then, all candidates would have been given one year notice to register, ”he said.
According to him, plans are underway for the provision of a more advanced system that will be more efficient for the exercise.
Mr Oloyede said the decision to use NIN was to correct some of the challenges that were recorded in 2019 UTME, particularly the fraud in the identification of candidates that registered for the UTME.
“Howbeit, our interactions with NIMC empowered us in a way that no candidate with the intention to cheat or a fake identity in the 2020 UTME exercise will go scot-free. We are better equipped now than before to identify examination fraudsters,” he said.
He asked candidates to follow the procedures that were used last year to register for the 2020 UTME exercise.
NIMC DG reacts
The Director-General of NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, said the shift is to give more time to intending applicants to obtain NIN, roll out more registration centres and equipment nationwide under the digital identity ecosystem and provide identity and verification services anytime anywhere.
He said that NIMC had only 1,000 centres around the country for the exercise and would need up to 4,000 to conduct such exercise.
”The partnership with JAMB would continue, parents and candidates for the 2021 exercise should use the opportunity to acquire the number within the stipulated time to avoid last-minute rushes,” he said.
Mr Aziz said NIMC registration would be made available at JAMB Computer-Based Tests (CBT) centres nationwide, with operators on the ground to capture candidates by 2021.
JAMB in October had said it would no longer register candidates who do not have the NIN for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.
It warned that only intending candidates who have the NIN will be registered, beginning with the 2020 examination.
But the House of Representatives last month asked JAMB to suspend the “no NIN, no JAMB” policy until 2021.
The National Identity Number (NIN) is the nation’s database capturing personal data towards assigning a unique identity to every Nigerian.
The 2020 UTME and DE registrations exercises are scheduled to begin on Monday, January 13 and end on February 17 across the country.