The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board have said it decided to suspend the use of the National Identification Number as requirements for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and Direct Entry registration due to technical issues and stakeholders’ concerns.
The UTME and DE registration are scheduled to begin on January 13 and end on February 17.
Announcing this at a press conference in Abuja on Saturday, JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, said technical issues regarding the registration system at the National Identification Management Commission was a major reason for the suspension.
He cited difficulties being faced by prospective candidates in the NIN registration.
Oloyede said the NIN would, however, be necessary for the 2021 UTME and Direct Entry registration.
The registrar said, “We came to a decision yesterday (Friday) and decided that we would suspend the use of the NIN as a prerequisite for the 2020 UTME and Direct Entry registration until 2021.
“By then, all candidates would have been given a 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 said JAMB and the NIMC would continue to share intelligence reports and other plans for the smooth conduct of the exercise in the future.
He stated that the NIN was aimed at tackling examination fraud.
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.”
The Director-General of the NIMC, Mr Aliyu Azeez, said the move was necessary as they were overwhelmed by the exercise because they were given a short period.
He said they had only 1,000 centres in the country for the exercise and would need up to 4,000 centres.
He, however, said the partnership with JAMB would continue, advising parents and candidates for the 2021 exercise to use the suspension to acquire the number within the stipulated time to avoid a last-minute rush.
Azeez promised that by 2021, the NIMC registration would be available at JAMB Computer-Based Test centres nationwide with operators on the ground to capture candidates.
Our correspondent had reported the difficulties faced by candidates in NIN registration including the alleged extortion of candidates by NIMC officials.
A spokesman for JAMB, Benjamin Fabian, had alleged that some syndicates were behind the hitches at the NIN registration centres.