Some parents and candidates, on Saturday, commended the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for suspending the use of National Identification Number (NIN) for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
To them, the suspension would ease the stress and hardship candidates were facing during registration for NIN.
Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, Registrar, JAMB, on Saturday in Abuja, said the board had suspended the use of NIN for the 2020 UTME.
Oloyede said the decision was due to the difficulties in obtaining the NIN by candidates.
He announced that candidates could register without a NIN for this year’s examination, saying that the rule would be implemented in 2021.
Mr George Ndukwe, a parent and retired teacher, while commending JAMB for the suspension, attributed the problem with the registration to lack of planning by the examination board.
“They did not plan this idea on time before implementing it, which made it difficult for the candidates to register.
“I am not against NIN registration but it really needs enough planning by providing enough facilities and officials for the registration.
“It is good it was shifted till next year; I hope they will do the necessary thing for candidates writing JAMB next year to start their registration process on time.
“JAMB should sustain and maintain every policy on candidates registering for NIN before writing examination, but they must plan it well,” he said.
Mrs Ngozi Olujumu, a retired school principal and parent, said that the idea of NIN registration was becoming a problem for UTME candidates because it was difficult for them to register.
Olujumu suggested that JAMB should allow candidates to use other means of identification such as school identification to write their examination.
“JAMB officials should relax by not complicating issues or stressing the candidates because they need to concentrate more on their books,” she said.
Mr Adedoyin Adesina, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Lagos Wing, said that it was a right decision by JAMB to forgo the NIN registration for 2020 UTME.
Adesina added that the registration had been cumbersome and the available centres cannot cater for the number of candidates.
“Most centres were chaotic, especially in Abuja, which always has the highest number of candidates.
“Candidates who are supposed to receive their numbers immediately can’t do so because of poor level of standard of registration,” he said.
Mr David Allo, a candidate, said that the decision by JAMB not using NIN registration for the 2020 exams was a welcome development.
Allo, who is also a student of Federal Science and Technology College, Yaba, alleged that some candidates had to part with money before they could register for NIN.
Mr Adedoyin Salako, Education Administrator, Lagos State Ministry of Education, who lauded the suspension, said that the intention of NIN registration would guide against irregularities in the examination.
“I also have a daughter who is writing the UTME and she told me they have shifted NIN registration till next year,” he said.
UTME registration exercise is scheduled to begin on Monday, January 13 and end on February 17.
The National Parents/Teachers Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) also lauded JAMB for suspending the use of NIN for the 2020 UTME.
The Deputy National President of NAPTAN, Chief Adeolu Ogunbanjo, said on Saturday in Lagos that the development was a step in the right direction, adding that parents and candidates alike could now heave a sigh of relief.
“On behalf of all Nigerian parents, I want to specially thank the JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, for listening to and sharing in the pains of our children and parents alike, while the struggle to get the NIN lasted.
“It goes to show that he is someone who has the interest of the progress of the nation and that of the Nigerian child at heart.
“He has considered our pains and have done the needful. We appreciate this. There has been so much confusion in the registration or enrollment process of this NIN.
“This confusion had put a lot of parents under severe and undue pressure as it got to the extent of asking the desperate applicants to contribute money to buy fuel for the generating sets that would be used to power the systems being used for the excercise.
“Some of the parents and their children would even go as far as renting hotels close to the registration centres just in a bid to get there early enough for the exercise,” he said.
Ogunbanjo noted that government on its part did not do proper appraisal on the kind of rush the new policy will generate, adding that inadequate working materials and personnel were part of the major reasons for the difficulties in obtaining NIN.
According to him, there is the need for government to do the needful by putting the necessary materials on ground in a bid to ensure a seamless process during the 2021 UTME.
Following the suspension of the compulsory NIN acquisition for the 2020 UTME, the NAPTAN boss also urged JAMB to ensure that whatever measure it would deployed in the acquisition of the registration docouments should be stress free.
Since the announcement by JAMB on the use of NIN to acquire its documents, prospective candidates had stormed various NIMC offices on a daily basis in a bid to get their registration done.
Long queues were formed at the entrance of NIN registration centres, by candidates as the date for the registration for the examination approached.
Miss Gift Azuka and Mirabel Francis, both prospective candidates, said that they were overjoyed and relieved over the decision by the board to suspend the use of NIN as prerequisite for obtaining the registration document.
“I went through severe challenges in trying to get my self enrolled for the NIN.
“The crowd became unimaginable each passing day, especially as the date for the commencement of the sales of the UTME drew closer.
“At a point, it will seem as if the entire process got to a standstill and there was really nobody to explain to you what was exactly going on. It was indeed frustrating but with this news, I am overjoyed and my fears have all disappeared,” Azuka said.
Francis insisted that there was the need for government to always consider the people each time a new policy such as the just suspended one was about to be introduced.
Some candidates from Badagry who were preparing for the forthcoming UTME also expressed their joy.
They lauded the timely suspension of the NIN registration which was one of the requirements needed by potential candidates to register for the 2020 UTME.
They thanked Oloyede for his timely intervention on the issue.
Mr Felix Godonu, a parent and the President of Hengo Badagry Youth Association, said that the suspension was prompt and a welcome development.
“This will save the time during which students queue for the collection of NIN which has also given room for extortion from the students.
“The stress that the students have been going through in last few months is uncalled for.
“The Federal Government should decentralise the registration process by using banks , tertiary institutions and online registration method.
“Our association had to support some students with transportation fares before they could travel to Ogun to register for NIN.
“It is high time for our government to have an up-to-date data base; these students had written examinations conducted by WAEC, NECO and GCE in the past.
“Even, the JAMB registration process is enough for the government to generate NIN for their intending candidates,” he said.
Godonu urged JAMB to use the period between now and when next candidates would be registering for UTME to find a lasting solution to NIN registration.
According to him, this will save the students and their parents from the stress they had gone through in recent weeks because some of the children’s health cannot withstand such.
Mrs Tonia Kalu, a Deputy Director, National Population Commission (NPC), commended the Federal Government for its current action.
“When government is ready, they should make available adequate equipment to match the teeming population of students seeking admission into the country’s universities,” she said.
Mrs Sewede Pot-Balogun, a parent and the Coordinator, Badagry Women Development Forum, commended the Federal Government for suspending the exercise.
“I always feel sad every morning while passing through the NIMC office in Badagry and seeing our youths on endless queue waiting for NIN registration.
“Most of the periods they would have used to study were being wasted on the exercise. Some of our children have not been able to get it done in the past one month.
“Touts had hijacked the exercise thus extorting money from our children. This is bad and we are grateful that the pain has ended for the main time,” she said.