By Levinus Nwabughiogu
House of Representatives yesterday urged the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to extend the commencement year for the compulsory use of National Identification Number (NIN) for better awareness.
It will be recalled that the Board had announced NIN as a sine qua non for the registration of 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
But in a motion at Wednesday’s plenary, the House said it was not feasible because the National Identity Management Commission’s (NIMC) was yet to capture all Nigerians in their database.
Titled “Call on the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to review the 2020 Timeline for the compulsory use of National Identity Number (NIN) to register for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME)”, the motion was moved by Hon. Zainab Gimba.
In her argument, Gimba commended JAMB for the initiative to curb exam malpractices.
She, however, said that lack of infrastructure in the rural areas will hinder many prospective candidates from writing the UTME if JAMB insisted on using the NIN.
He said: “The House notes the decision of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation B (JAMB) to utilize the data of prospective candidates for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) to register them for the exams
“Further notes that the compulsory use of prospective candidates’ date from the National Identity Management Commission’s (NIMC) database will dispense with the need for JAMB to capture the biometric of candidates thereby helping to curb incidents of multiple registrations and other forms of malpractices perpetrated in the UTNae process
“Aware that henceforth, the National Identity Number will be compulsory for the UTME registration
“Worried however that many prospective candidates from remote locations in the country may not be able to register for the UTME due to non-registration with the NIMC
“Also worried that the notice given by JAMB is too sudden ad not sufficient to allow all prospective candidates to be captured by the NIMC
“Recalls sometimes this year, an official of the NIMC disclosed that less than 20% of Nigerians are captured in NIMC’s database
“Concerned that although there has been a massive turnout of Nigerians to be captured by NIMC, most have been hindered by infrastructural challenges like poor internet network, power failure/no power supply and sometimes inadequate manpower or equipment to attend to them”
Adopting the motion, the House also urged NIMC to establish more registration centres to accommodate the growing number of prospective candidates for the UTME.
It mandated its committee on tertiary education and services and NIMC to identify the challenges in capturing Nigerians with a view to tackling them.