BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says technical reasons and stakeholders’ concerns informed its decision to suspend the use of National Identification Number (NIM) as a requirement for applicants’ registration in the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry exercise.

JAMB Registrar, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, who announced the suspension at JAMB Headquaters in Bwari, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Saturday, listed technical issues relating to the registration system at National Identification Management Commission (NIMC) among key reasons for the decision.

The UTME and DE registrations for applicants were scheduled to commence on Monday, January 13 and last till Monday, February 17, 2020.

Joined by the NIMC’s Director General, Aliyu Aziz at the .media briefing, Prof Oloyede, said the NIN requirement as prerequisite for the UTME and DE registrations has been set aside for this year’s registrations due to difficulties faced by candidates in the NIN registration.

He however said going forward, the NIM will be a compulsory requirement in the 2021 UTME and Direct Entry registrations.

The JAMB Boss, who assured that adequate steps are being taken to provide a more advanced system that would be more efficient for the exercise, said; “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.”

According to him, JAMB and NIMC will constantly share intelligence reports as well as other plans aimed at ensuring the exercise is conducted smoothly in the years ahead.

The Registrar insisted that NIN as a condition for registration is meant to tackle identity fraud during its examinations, adding; “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.”

In his remarks, NIMC’s Director-General, Mr Aliyu Azeez, admitted the suspension became necessary because the Commission was overwhelmed by applicants’ demands within the short time given.

He said NIMC had only 1,000 centres around the country for the exercise and would need to scale up to over 4,000 centres for a successful delivery of the mandate.

The Director General however assured of continuous partnership with JAMB even as he urged parents and candidates for the 2021 exercise to start early in acquiring NIM within the stipulated time to avoid last-minute rushes.

He also said by 2021, NIMC registration would be available at JAMB Computer-Based Tests centres nationwide with operators on the ground to capture candidates.

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