Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) announced on Saturday that the National Identity Number (NIN) will no longer be a pre-requisite for candidates interested in 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE) examinations.
It also announced a temporary suspension of its partnership with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), which was initially involved in the registration and issuance of NIN to candidates.
JAMB had, hitherto, made NIN a pre-requisite for registration for 2020 UTME with a view to eliminating identity theft and other cases of impersonation that was recorded in 2019 UTME exercise.
The Board’s Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, told reporters in Abuja on Saturday that the decision to suspend the use of NIN was due to obvious indications that NIMC was not capable to meet the needs of a large number of candidates that would register for the 2020 UTME exercise.
“We had agreed that NIN would be a pre-requisite for registration for 2020 UTME which will commence on Monday. But there was a public outcry on the frustrations and difficulties that candidates are subjected to before getting the NIN,” Oloyede stated.
“We were forced to review our strategies and we arrived at a point that it was obvious that we could not go ahead with NIN as pre-requisite for registration because of the challenges that might affect the participation of a large number of candidates.
“To this end, we have decided to suspend the use of NIN for 2020 UTME exercise. We have unanimously agreed to shift the use of NIN to 2021 when candidates must have been given enough time and opportunity to get the NIN. However, about 11, 000 of our staff, permanent and ad hoc, that would participate in the exercise would still be required to submit their NIN for verification.”
Oloyede explained that the decision to use NIN was to correct some of the challenges that were recorded in 2019 UTME, particularly fraud in the identification of candidates that registered for the UTME.
“Howbeit, our interactions with NIMC empowered us in a way that no candidate with the intention to cheat or fake identity in the 2020 UTME exercise will go scot-free. We are better equipped now than before to identify examination fraudsters,” the Registrar added.
He urged candidates to follow the procedures that were used last year to register for the 2020 UTME exercise.
NIMC Director-General Aliyu Aziz, in his remarks, appreciated the partnership and trust that JAMB and its stakeholders had reposed on them, and promised to improve on its facilities and manpower ahead of 2021 UTME exercise.
He advised candidates that would participate in 2021 UTME exercise to start the process of getting their NIN as early as possible, to avoid the rush that would come with the deadline.