From Fred Itua, Abuja
The Senate, on Tuesday, urged the Federal Government to review the implementation of its policy making the National Identity Number (NIN) a prerequisite for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had insisted that the National Identity Number (NIN) is mandatory for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
Candidates, however, lamented that the NIN requirement have added to their registration predicament as many said they were forced to go through difficulties like extortion, long queues in scorching weather, and other unwholesome practices to enable them register.
The Red Chamber, therefore, asked the Ministry of Education, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to review the policy with a view to extending the UTME registration deadline and requirements until there is a seamless and well-organised process for obtaining the NIN.
The Senate also urged the Federal Ministry of Education and NIMC to introduce and streamline a simple and decentralised NIN registration process where students would be able to obtain their NIN in their various accredited school premises. The resolutions were sequel to a motion by Ifeanyi Uba.
He said the policy was an inconsiderate and premature decision that has further complicated the already rigorous process of both registering for UTME examination and procuring the NIN.
He said available statistics indicate that in 2020 more than two million candidates registered for JAMB examination and that the introduction of NIN threatens to significantly lower the number of registered candidates in 2021 because majority of these candidates are just attaining the age when they can obtain the NIN.
‘This is a brazen infringement on the right to education of young Nigerians who may not be able to meet the deadline to obtain their NIN and register for JAMB,’ he said.
He called for the suspension of the policy until the conditions for obtaining NIN improves tremendously.
Uche Lilian Ekwunife, while supporting the motion, said there was still lack of awareness on NIN at the grassroots, secondary schools and universities, as many students were unaware that the national identification number was a requirement for exam registration.