The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has bowed to pressure and suspended the use of National Identity Number (NIN) issued by National Identity Management Commission as a prerequisite for candidates’ registration for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.
Registrar of JAMB, Professor Ishaq Oloyede announced the suspension on Saturday in Abuja following public outcry over difficulties intending UTME applicants were having in trying to enroll and obtain the requisite NIN from NIMC.
The limited centres of NIMC had been overwhelmed by an unprecedented number of Nigerians seeking enrollment in the last few weeks ahead of the commencement of UTME registration exercise.
Apart from the chaotic situations in some of the enrollment centres, there are allegations of demand for bribe against NIMC personnel in order to facilitate enrollment.
Oloyede, however, explained that even though the exercise was statutory, the use of NIN for registration has to be suspended to the next year 2021, because of observable lapses and logistics challenges on the part of the Commission to cope with an upsurge of those wanting to enroll for the NIN.
He advised the candidates to simply send their names to 55019 to commence registration for 2020 UTME as it was done in the previous year.
The JAMB Registrar speaking further at the news conference jointly addressed with the Director- General of NIMC, Mr Aliyu Aziz, said he was sad to announce the suspension in view of the fact the original intention was to eliminate examination fraud perpetrated by fraudsters through multiple registrations.
He, however, warned candidates that nobody would go scot-free if found to register twice, saying the Board was aware of a deliberate campaign against NIMC by “professional examination takers” (fraudsters), to discredit the enrollment exercise “because the Commission was about to break the backbone of their corrupt practices”.
He said the collaboration with the Commission has increased the capacity of the Board in identity management, stressing that many persons were prosecuted last year and that JAMB is even more empowered now to identify all forms of identity fraud and multiple registrations by examination fraudsters.
He said UTME registration would commence on 13th January, 2020, and going by the technical challenges faced by NIMC, there was no way it could capture all intending applicants for UTME and Direct Entry.
JAMB had announced the compulsory use of NIN for UTME registration in October last year as part of the initiative to curb identity fraud and multiple registrations by candidates as a way to cheat in examination.
He said: “You will recall that in compliance with statutory provisions, we commenced making NIN prerequisite for registration for 2020 UTME. This decision was based on law, on directive but more importantly, is the fact that this is the right way to go.
“All nations of the world go that way and we have no option because we cannot be an island on our own. It has been very productive but we got to a point yesterday (Friday) that knowing fully well the registration for 2020 UTME and Direct Entry will start on Monday 13 January to 17th of February, which is five weeks to complete the registration process.
“Everything in the educational sector is programmed. UTME examination must be written before 4th of April, because WAEC starts the 6th of April and immediately after WAEC, NABTEB and after NABTEB, NECO.
Meanwhile, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), says over 650 Computer Based Test (CBT), centres have so far been accredited for its upcoming 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The board has fixed this year’s examination for March 14 to April 4, while an optional mock examination for candidates is scheduled for Feb. 18.
Similarly, the board had said that it would commence the sales of its registration documents from Monday, Jan. 13, to Monday, Feb. 17.
The Head, Media and Information of the board, Dr Fabian Benjamin, told newsmen in Lagos that arrangements for the commencement of the sales of the documents nationwide had been concluded.
“We are set to go. Logistics have been put in place to ensure a smooth process.
“Like you may know, over 650 CBT centres have been accredited for this year’s examination and the board expects nothing short of the best practices.
“We have clearly defined the process, just like we have also put mechanism in place that will address any challenge or challenges that may arise before, during and even after the examination.