he Senate on Tuesday told the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to further extend the registration deadline for 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) or consider suspending the National Identity Number (NIN) requirement.
The Senate told JAMB to consider suspending the NIN requirement for prospective students until there is a seamless and well-organised process for obtaining the NIN.
Hitherto, the Senate mandated the Ministry of Education, JAMB and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to review the implementation of the NIN policy.
This foregoing was sequel to a Point of Order raised by Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP-Anambra) during plenary.
The motion is titled “The need to address the untold hardship caused by the introduction of NIN as compulsory requirement for JAMB registration”.
The upper chamber urged the 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 JAMB recently made NIN mandatory for students seeking admission into universities of their choice.
Raising Orders 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules, Ubah while noting the untold hardship the policy had generated for students said the action ” is inconsiderate and a premature decision”.
He said: “For JAMB to include NIN as a precondition for registration of UTME candidates in 2021 is inconsiderate.
“This action is an inconsiderate and premature decision that has further complicated the already rigorous process of both registering for JAMB examination and procuring the NIN.
“JAMB initially attempted to start the implementation of this policy in 2020/but had to postpone it owing to technical problems and irregularities bedeviling the process of obtaining NIN from NIMC.
“From all indications, 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.
“The board (JAMB) already has enough logistical and technical problems to tackle.”
Ubah further said that adding more complications was counterproductive and would serve as a hindrance to young Nigerians desirous of getting into higher institutions to further their education.
Seconding the motion Sen. Uche Ekwunife (PDP-Anambra) said it was a very straightforward motion and apt.
“This has come when we have to show concern for what is happening on students presenting NIN before they are registered for JAMB.
“Mr President, remember that the whole of last year was taken over by COVID-19 and that restricted a lot of movement and it made it impossible for many students to have access to NIN.
“Telling our students now that they cannot register for WAEC and GCE because they do not have NIN is actually very insensitive on the part of JAMB and NECO.
“Mr President I want to state very clearly that the awareness on NIN has not been felt. There is no public enlightenment, many people don’t even understand what NIN stands for.
“The awareness has not been taken to the grassroots; the enlightenment has not been taken to schools; it has not been taken to universities and tertiary institutions.
“Therefore many children and many students don’t even know the need for them to have the NIN, they don’t even know that the NIN is a requirement for them to participate in NECO and GCE.
“Schools should not make NIN as a requirement for participation in any examination,” Ekwunife said.
The resolutions were unanimously adopted by the senators after a Voice Vote by President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.