Recently, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) announced that all students seeking admission into universities must provide the National Identity Number (NIN).
This, as demanded, was a mandated pre-requisite, for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE) registration.
The Board had suspended the compulsory use of the National Identification Number (NIN) for the registration of candidates for the 2020 UTME.
This happened, following criticisms from the public over the poor timing of the policy and the difficulty in obtaining it by prospective candidates.
However, not long after the examination body mandated use of NIN as prerequisite for 2021 registration, prospective candidates, especially those who reside in rural areas have been subjected to undue stress while applying to register for the exercise.
Given that the JAMB registration will be closed on 15th May, 2021, the pressure on candidates to complete their registration before the deadline is raising concerns.
Some of the candidates who spoke in an interview, urged the government to provide enabling environment for candidates to be able to meet up with the deadline.
In one of such, an aspiring JAMB candidate, Iganya Asiya Muhammed lamented the challenge he has been facing in Ankpa, Kogi state trying to register for NIN.
“The issue of making National Identification Number as a criteria for JAMB registration is seriously giving us headaches, especially those of us in a remote area.
I have been to my Local government Secretariat time without number since the registration started, but up till now I have not done it.
As it stands now, I don’t think I’m going to sit for this year’s Joint Admission and Matriculation examination (JAMB) because of this thing called NIN.
“I am not against it but if you’re doing it, a conducive environment should be provided so that people would not be complaining or go through any form of stress.
The issue is not limited to Ankpa here but across the federation. I have seen and read how many people have reacted towards this particular stuff and are not speaking good about them.
“If you want to make NIN as mandatory in everything we do, why not make a conducive environment for your citizens to do it without any form of manipulation and stress.
As big as my local government is, we only have one centre for registration that is not fair. When you are in Abuja making orders and enforcing law on your citizens, always think about those in the rural area because they are facing a lot of challenges,” he added.
Another aspiring candidate in Abuja, Benjamin Akange lamented that even though he lives in the Federal Capital Territory, getting his NIN registration has not been easy. He said it took him two weeks before he was able to get registered.
According to him, “I want the government to ensure transparency in the system and ensure that there is a conducive environment for people, especially those in the rural areas.
We have less than two months to the deadline given by JAMB so the government needs to consider the future of these children.
Something needs to be done to ensure that all the prospective candidates get their NIN before the deadline.”