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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has explained that technical reasons and stakeholders’ concerns compelled the suspension of the use of the National Identification Number as a requirement for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and Direct Entry registrations.
The UTME and DE registrations were scheduled to begin on Monday, January 13 and end on February 17, 2019.
Announcing this at a press conference in Abuja on Saturday, JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, noted that technical issues with regards to the system of registration at the National Identification Management Commission was one of the major reasons for the suspension.
He cited difficulties being faced by candidates in the NIN registration, adding that the NIN requirement as a precondition for the UTME and DE registrations had been set aside for this year’s registrations.
Oloyede said the NIN would, however, be a necessary requirement in the 2021 UTME and Direct Entry registrations.
He said plans are underway for the provision of a more advanced system that would be more efficient for the exercise.
The registrar stated, “We came to a decision yesterday (Friday) and decided that we will suspend the use of NIN as a prerequisite for the 2020 UTME and Direct Entry registrations 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 disclosed that 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.
He stated that the NIN as a requisite for the exercise was to tackle identity fraud during the examinations.
He added, “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.”
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Also speaking, the Director-General of NIMC, Mr Aliyu Azeez, said that the move was necessary as the commission was overwhelmed with the exercise within the short time given.
He said that NIMC had only 1,000 centres around the country for the exercise and would need up to 4,000 centres.
He, however, stated that 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.
Our correspondent had reported the difficulties faced by candidates in NIN registration including alleged extortion of candidates by NIMC officials.
The JAMB spokesman, Dr Benjamin Fabian, had alleged that examination malpractices syndicates were behind the hitches at the NIN registration centres.