The National Parents/Teachers Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) has lauded the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for suspending the use of the National Identification Number(NIN) for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the board which had announced that it would commence the sales of its registration forms on Monday, Jan. 13 to Feb. 17, said there was no going back on the use of NIN by prospective candidates.
The Registrar of the board, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, had at a news conference on Saturday in Abuja, sited the difficulty in obtaining the NIN as the major reason for the suspension.
Oloyede stated that candidates can now register without a NIN for this year’s examination, noting that the rule would be implemented in 2021.
The Deputy National President of NAPTAN, Chief Adeolu Ogunbanjo, told NAN 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 alot 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 the 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.
NAN reports that 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, told NAN in separate interviews 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.
Edited by: Tayo Ikujuni/ Tukur Muntari.