The House of Representatives has asked the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board to suspend its new policy requiring the National Identity Number for candidates to register for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.
At plenary on Wednesday, Zainab Gimba moved a motion calling for the suspension of the policy till 2021.
While unanimously adopting the motion, the House commended JAMB for collaborating with the National Identity Management Commission towards a more transparent UTME process.
The lawmakers, however, urge the board to extend the use of the national ID “in order to allow more time and better awareness for prospective candidates”.
They also urged the NIMC to establish more registration centres, while mandating the House Committees on Tertiary Education & Services, and the NIMC to identify the challenges facing the commission with a view to tackling them and increasing its funding if necessary.
Gimba said the compulsory use of prospective candidates’ data from the NIMC’s database would remove the need for JAMB to capture the biometrics of candidates, thereby helping to curb multiple registration and other forms of malpractices.
She said, “The House is worried however that many prospective candidates from remote locations in the country may not be able to register for the UTME due to non-registration with the NIMC. The notice given by JAMB is too sudden and not sufficient to allow all prospective UTME candidates to be captured by the NIMC.
“The House recalls that sometime this year, an official of the NIMC disclosed that less than 20 per cent of Nigerians were captured in the NIMC’s database. Though there has been a massive turnout of Nigerians to be captured by the NIMC, most have been hindered by infrastructural challenges like poor internet network, power failure/no power supply and sometimes inadequate manpower or equipment to attend to them.
“The House is also concerned that younger Nigerians and minors constitute the larger number of those yet to be captured by the NIMC mainly due to the prior registration criteria which captured persons aged 18 and above only. JAMB needs to establish a better collaboration with the NIMC, state and local governments for efficient and less-stressful registration of prospective candidates.”