Parents of candidates who want to sit for this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, have expressed dissatisfaction with the hiccups their wards are encountering getting their National Identification Numbers, NIN.
The difficulties being experienced in securing NIN had initially led to the shift in the start of the registration for the examination.
The parents, who poured their feelings on the Facebook page of an education online group, the Concerned Parents & Educators, CPE, said the pressure to get the NIN has caused pains to many candidates who want to register for the examination.
For a parent, Mr. Francis Peter, the approach JAMB took was uncalled for. He said: “If you take the wrong approach to do something good, it will be abused.
“If JAMB’s activities are being hampered because of the need to get NIN, what happens to those students that paid as much as N5000 to get NIN?
“What is not supposed to be a problem, has become very cumbersome and some NIMC officials have made millions from it.”
Another parent, Remi Obichukwu has this to say: “Why do we have so many clueless people in places of power making vital decisions over the lives of innocent Nigerians?
“Why couldn’t this wait until next UTME when NIMC must have hopefully got their act together? Their registration system is flawed and causing frustration to so many, yet they decided to make NIN compulsory for many important things.
“I’m so sick and tired of this so-called leaders.”
What government should have done
Reacting to the divergent views by stakeholders, a parent, Olayinka Nowo-Sanusi, called on the government to integrate NIN into the birth certificate of every citizen. According to her: “Why can’t the country start a system where every birth must be registered digitally at the local government within two weeks!
“The hospital sends details of birth to the LG.. issues a “pass” to the parents to take to LG, to register names of baby and parents get issued a birth certificate.
“By this all children get a digital footprint, when they turn 15/16, they get issued a NIN automatically, by the system just like NIs are issued in the UK,” Nowo-Sanusi said.
NIN is compulsory for all candidates — JAMB Registrar
The Registrar of the Joint Admissions And Matriculation Board, JAMB, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, said the Board introduced the use of NIN in the registration for UTME to checkmate examination malpractice.
He explained in Abuja during a virtual meeting with owners of Computer-Based Test Centres, service providers, and other stakeholders, 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.
“We don’t even require the name of the candidate, we just want the NIN and we will then do the needful to pull the data of the candidate and the process will go on from there.
“It is for security reasons; for us at our small level, it helps us to avoid impersonation but there is a bigger picture of insecurity in the country and we know that many of the problems we have is because we have identification problem, we cannot identify every citizen, where he is and what he is doing.”
“Government is trying to ensure that we have some strategy for improving the security system and of course if those who are coming in to the tertiary institution are exposed to this basic civil responsibility, it will be good to develop a culture of accountability because accountability starts from being identified,” he said.