Nigeria’s Matriculation Exam Board Says NIN Will Reduce Exam Malpractice, Insecurity

Nigerian students that will take the tertiary institutions' matriculation examination in 2021 will have to register with their National Identity Number (NIN).

The Joint Admission And Matriculation Board (JAMB), the body conducting examination into tertiary institutions in Nigeria says it introduced the use of the National Identity Number (NIN) for the registration of the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) to checkmate examination malpractices.

Professor Ishaq Oloyede, the Registrar of the Board, said this on Friday in Abuja, during a virtual meeting with owners of Computer Based Test (CBT) Centres, service providers and other stakeholders, to kickstart the 2021 UTME registration.

He said NIN as a prerequisite for registration was from the Minister of Education, adding that the motive was also for security reasons.

“It is for security reasons; for us, at our small level it helps us to avoid impersonation but there is a bigger picture of insecurity in the country and we know that many of these problems we have is because we have identification problem, we cannot identify every citizen, where he is and what he is doing,” Oloyede explained.  

“Government is trying to ensure that we have some strategies for improving the security system and of course if those who are coming into the tertiary institution are exposed to this basic civic responsibility, it will be good to develop a culture of accountability because accountability starts from being identified.” 

Nigerian Government in Dec. 2020 asked citizens to link their sim cards with their NIN as part of measures to tackle insecurity challenges confronting the country. 

Oloyede said talks were ongoing with the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy to grant a conditioned waiver to an estimated 20 per cent of candidates without a sim card.

“Not all the candidates are without sim, 80 per cent of the candidates already have their number, we are talking of the 20 per cent, and if we are fortunate enough to secure the waiver of the minister through the NCC, we will go ahead to make sure there is full compliance to the conditionalities because it is in our interest as a nation that those things that are put in place should be allowed to protect all of us.”

Oloyede also warned that no CBT centre is allowed to register candidates for NIN, noting that any centre found engaging in such would be suspended.

“No JAMB accredited CBT centre is allowed as an agent of NIMC in the enrollment of NIN,” he said.

“About 737 CBT centres have been accredited by the board to be part of the exercise,” Oloyede said. 

He said over 100 centres were delisted between 2020 and 2021 for various infractions including registration and examination malpractice.

On Wednesday, March 24, Dr Fabian Benjamin, Head, Public Affairs and Protocols at JAMB  announced the date for the commencement of registration for the 2021 UTME and Direct Entry (DE).

“The approved schedule for registration and examination is that registration exercise will start on Thursday, April 8 and end on Saturday, May 15, 2021.”

“Candidates are also to note that the registration for Direct Entry applicants will run concurrently with that of UTME candidates,” he said.

“There will be no extension of time for the sale of the UTME or DE application documents. “Mock examination will be held on Friday, April 30 for those who indicate interest and are registered before April 24.”


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Yekeen Akinwale

Yekeen Akinwale is a multiple award-winning investigative journalist with over 17 years journalism experience across different newsrooms in Nigeria. He had previously worked at Leadership Newspaper, Nigerian Compass, New Telegraph and Freedom Newspaper. A graduate of Mass Communication, Akinwale was the Head of Newsroom at the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) before joining HumAngle. He is passionate about investigative reporting, environment, climate change and developments. Akinwale is the 2018 Investigative Journalist of the Year for Diamond Media Award for Excellence (DAME) and 2019 Business Reporter of the Year for Nigeria Media Merit Award ((NMMA).

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