By Benjamin Arida//:
Senate has mandated the Federal Ministry of Education, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB and the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC review the use of National Identification Number, NIN as part of precondition for the registration of Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME candidates in 2021.
The upper legislative chamber specifically called for the extension of the JAMB registration deadline or suspension of the requirement until there is a seamless and well organised process for obtaining the national identity number
Besides, it “urged the Federal Ministry of Education and NIMC to introduce or streamline a simple and decentralized NIN registration process where students would be able to obtain their NIN in their various accredited school premises.”
These resolutions were sequel to a motion of urgent national importance raised by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP Anambra South), who explained the “widespread hardship” currently being faced by students due to the JAMB’s decision.
Coming through Orders 42 and 43 of the Senate rules, Senator Ubah said “this action is an inconsiderate and premature that has further complicated the already rigorous process of both registering for JAMB examination and procuring the NIN.”
He informed that JAMB had initially attempted to start the implementation of the policy in 2020, but postponed it due to technical problems and irregularities bedevelling the process of obtaining NIN from NIMC, adding that “from all indiçations, these technical hitches are yet to be addressed; the long queues at NIMC centres are a testimony to the fact that a well organised process is yet to be put in place to ease the stressful process of registration.”
“Available statistics indicate that in 2020, more than two million candidates registered for JAMB examination.
“Presently, 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 stressed.
Senator Ubah declared that “the board already has enough logical and technical problems to tackle and adding more complications is counter-productive and will only serve as a hinderance to young Nigerians desirous of getting into higher institutions to further their education.”
In her contribution, Senator Uche Ekwunife (PDP Anambra Central), noted that the policy has created a lot of difficulties for students to register for JAMB and therefore agreed to its suspension until the process of obtaining NIN improves.