The Senate issued an order on Tuesday directing the Ministry of Education, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to review the NIN policy.
The senate also took the opportunity to propose extending the JAMB registration deadline or suspending the NIN requirement for prospective students until a smooth and well-organized method for getting it is established.
Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP-Anambra) raised a Point of Order during plenary that led to this resolution.
The motion is titled “The Need to Address the Untold Harm Caused by the Introduction of NIN as a Mandatory JAMB Registration Requirement.”
Another resolution passed by the upper house directed the Ministry of Education and the NIMC to create and streamline a simple and decentralized NIN registration process in which students could receive their NIN in their various recognized academic institutes.
Remember that the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) recently made NIN compulsory for students seeking admission to universities of their choice.
While noting the untold hardship the policy has caused students, Ubah said the action is “inconsiderate and a premature decision,” citing Senate Standing Rules 42 and 52.
He explained, “It is inconsiderate for JAMB to include NIN as a precondition for registration of UTME candidates in 2021.”
”This action is a hasty and inconsiderate decision that has added to the already difficult process of registering for the JAMB examination and obtaining a NIN.
“JAMB attempted to implement this policy in 2020, but was forced to postpone it due to technical issues and irregularities in the process of obtaining a NIN from the NIMC.
”From all indications, these technical issues have yet to be resolved; the long lines at NIMC centers are proof that a well-organized process has yet to be implemented to alleviate the situation.
“The board (JAMB) is already dealing with a lot of logistical and technical issues.”
Ubah went on to say that adding more complications would be counterproductive and would make it more difficult for young Nigerians to gain admission to higher education institutions.
Sen. Uche Ekwunife (PDP-Anambra), who seconded the motion, said it was a straightforward and appropriate motion.
“This is the time for us to express our concern about what is happening to students who present their NIN before registering for JAMB.
“Remember, Mr. President, that COVID-19 took over the entire year last year, restricting a lot of movement and making it impossible for many students to use NIN.
“It is actually quite insensitive on the part of JAMB and NECO to tell our candidates now that they cannot register for WAEC and GCE because they do not have NIN.
“Mr. President, I want to state unequivocally that NIN has not been noticed. There is no public enlightenment. Many individuals are unaware of what NIN stands for.
“There has been no grassroots awareness; there has been no enlightenment in schools; there has been no illumination in colleges and tertiary institutions.
“As a result, many students and learners are unaware of the importance of having a NIN. They have no idea that the NIN is a requirement for them to take NECO and GCE.
“Schools should not make NIN a condition for taking any exam,” Ekwunife stated.
After a Voice Vote by Senate President Ahmad Lawan, the senators unanimously adopted the resolutions.