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JAMB suspends NIN for 2020 UTME, Direct Entry registrations

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has suspended the use of National Identification Number, NIN, as a requirement for registration in the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME.

The suspension also affected the JAMB’s Direct Entry Registration for the year.

But the board which announced the suspension of NIN at press conference, held at its head office, at Bwari, Abuja, said NIN would be a necessary requirement in the 2021 UTME and Direct Entry registrations.

JAMB’s Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, who broke the news at the press conference, attributed the action to what he called “technical reasons.”

The press conference was attended by top management staff of the National Identification Management Commission, NIMC, led by its Director-General, Aziz Aliyu.

Oloyode, citing ongoing difficulties being faced by candidates in the NIN registration, insisted that the NIN requirement as a precondition for the UTME and Direct Entry registrations had been set aside.

He said: “You would recall that in compliance with statutory provisions, we commenced the registration of making NIN a prerequisite for registration for 2020 UTME.

“This decision was based on law and on directive but more importantly, on the fact that it was the right way to go.”

According to him,”, All nations of the world go that way, we have no option, we cannot be an island on our own.”

Oloyede, who said the exercise “has been very productive”, explained that,” We got to a point yesterday (Friday), that knowing fully well that the registration for 2020, both UTME and Direct Entry will start on Monday, the 13th and will go on till 17th of February which is five weeks.

“And we have just those five weeks because everything in the educational sector is programmed. UTME examination must be written before 4th of April because WASC starts on the 6th of April. And immediately after WASC, NABTEB and after NABTEClB, NECO starts. So everything is programmed, when people are making suggestions to us, they do not know what we know.”

“So on the basis of these, we came to a very sad position yesterday that we have to decide that for 2020, we are not going to use NIN as a prerequisite for registration.

“We are therefore suspending this till subsequent year,2021, when all candidates would have been given what appears like a one year notice that they will have opportunity for doing their registration,” he said.

He, however, said: “But this does not affect staff, all our staff-permanent and adhoc who are going to participate in this year’s would still be required to submit their NIM for verification.”

According to him,”We are having about 11,000 people participating either as our permanent staff or adhoc staff,this remains.”

“But for the young one,we must thank them because we have gone round,particularly, in the last one week in the country and we have seen their commitment and passions but we are conscious of the fact that we have responsibility to ensure that when something is no longer realistic, we would know that it is not attainable.

“That is the reason that we are suspending the use of NIN for 2020 till 2021. That is,we are not going to use NIN as prerequisite for registration for 2020 JAMB application for both UTME and Direct Entry,” he explained.

“So I must thank my brother, my colleague, the DG of NIMC and his able lieutenants, I don’t need to thank the directors of JAMB and staff who have been on the field because that is what they are paid to do,” he said.

He spoke further: “We know that what we have done this year is not going back to zero. For instance, one of the reasons why JAMB was in it was to eliminate fraud in identity management which NIMC has the capacity to do.

“But even when we are not using, the fact that we have interacted with NIMC had given us some things that I may not disclose to you, that nobody will go free if he or she registers twice.

“This exercise has increased our capacity on the issue of identity management. Those who did, many of them were prosecuted last year and now, we are even more empowered to identify and make sure we prosecute.

“I am sure those professional examination takers who are interested in committing the fraud would think they have won because a number of them have been sponsoring all sorts of campaigns against NIMC because they knew NIMC was about breaking the backbone of their corrupt practices.

“But I think they should know that we have learnt so many things from NIMC and we will continue to learn to form them that will make it impossible for anybody to come and commit any identity fraud as they have been doing.

“So I want to thank you for the understanding that you will help to immediately disseminate this information.

“The Director of Administration and Special Duty will communicate to all the states of the federation now that the candidates will simply do what they did last year by sending their names, two or three names as the case may be to 55019 and that will be the beginning of registration for 2020 UTME.”

Also speaking, Director General of National Identification Management Commission, NIMC, Engr. Aziz Aliyu explained that the action of JAMB in suspending the NIM was based on the commission’s advice.

While noting that “the purpose of the collaboration is to stop fraud and examination malpractices related to identity”, he said: “The main thrust and commitment of government is to provide legal identity in the form of unique digital identity to enable access to services, rights and also protection.”

“Any good foundational ID system must also have linkages with functional ID system hence the collaboration and partnership with public and private sector organisations including JAMB,” he said.

He spoke further: “Our collaboration with JAMB is in the alignment with the law and also the government’s policy of leveraging authenticated NIN for service provision.

“The upsurge and demand for NIN within the limited centres and also facilities have caused a review and rethink for us to consider a shift in the commencement date for the use of NIM as prerequisite for JAMB registrations.

“This 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 authentication and verification services anytime and anywhere.

“So we enjoined Prof. (Oloyedo) to appeal to the general public to ensure that they register to obtain their NIM within this timeline to avoid any enforcement drive.

“As the collaboration continues, we implore all parents and students registering JAMB in 2021 to ensure that they enroll themselves and their children in good time to avoid this last-minute rush.

“Though we have about 2million JAMB registered but when they come to our office, they come with their own parents and usually they will come with their siblings to say let’s do this thing once,therefore, to us we calculated this and result was like 10 million people coming to our centre within a short period of time

“We have only 1,000 centres and but based on the standard, we are supposed to have at least, 4,000 centres. With the coming year,with the ecosystem in place,we believe that we would have more than 10,000 centres so that we will eliminate all the rush.

“And also,we have studied the statistics from JAMB data but about 15 percent is in Lagos,all the others have either two or three percent. Therefore, the crowd in Lagos is like four times the one in Abuja and the one in Abuja is also four times than the one in my state,Adamawa.

“By next year,we will make sure that they are operators that are at the CBT centres so that we will not be having crowd in NIMC.”

The suspension of NIN may not be unconnected with the alleged irregularities in obtaining the NIN from the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

Recall that the management of JAMB had in October last year insisted that only candidates with NIN would be eligible to register for the 2020 UTME.

The development had prompted officials of NIMC to cash in on the rush by candidates to fleece them of their funds.

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