News Analysis

Introduction of NIN for 2021 UTME Registration

Recently, registrar of Joint Admission Matriculations Board, JAMB, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, said the board introduced the use of National Identity Number, NIN, for the registration of the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, to checkmate examination malpractices.

Professor Oloyede explained that the directive for the use of NIN as a prerequisite for registration was from the minister of education, saying the motive was also for security reasons.

In giving the directive to make NIN a condition for registration, the supervising ministry, the Federal Ministry of Education, and its minister, Adamu Adamu had ordered JAMB to liaise with National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, to actualise the policy.

It is worth recalling that JAMB had attempted to start the implementation of NIN requirement last year but had to postpone it owing to technical hitches.

National Identity Management Company has not taken care of these hitches going by the process of obtaining NIN from the agency.

An attempt by NIMC to decentralize some of the processes, which shows long queues at the centres is a pointer to the fact that a hitch free process is not yet in place, and is bound to compound the stress of registration.

For instance, the process ought to be decentralized that students would be able to obtain their NIN in the school premises.

Until the country gets to that point, making NIN compulsory for jamb registration should be taken with caution.

According to the JAMB’s head of press and public relations, Dr Fabian Benjamin, about one point nine million students registered for the examination last year, which is the highest registration in the history of the board.

With this statistics, it is obvious that there will be an increase in the number this year as majority of the candidates are just attaining the age where they can apply for NIN.

This implies is that a larger percentage of the candidates will have to go through the stress of obtaining the NIN within the time frame set by jamb.

One of the benefits that the NIN registration has is that it will get more Nigerians registered when all logistics are put in place for a hitch free process.

Over the years, the rigorous process of registration coupled with allegation of extortion by the officials, have been the bane of the agency.   .

The decision by JAMB to link its examination with the NIN should be suspended until the conditions for obtaining it is improved.

Furthermore, many of these candidates may not be able to meet the deadline to obtain their NIN and register for JAMB which will deny the students their right to education.

Being at the NIN registration centres in this period of Covid-19 pandemic will go against the protocols put in place by those in charge of managing the pandemic, hence policies that will encourage the gatherings of large crowds ought to be discouraged at this time.

 JAMB should look for other means of tackling malpractices for now and concentrate on its core mandate which is to ensure a stress-free process of organising examination into higher institutions for the growing youth population.

Fawzeeyah Kasheem

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