The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on Saturday suspended the use of the National Identification Number for registration for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination UTME.
The registrar of JAMB, Ishaq Oloyede, made this known while speaking to newsmen in Abuja on Saturday.
According to him, the decision was made to provide more time for candidates to get their national identification numbers.
Oloyede also stated that the suspension was to address the technical challenges experienced at some centres, adding that the exam body will consider the use of NIMC for 2021 exams.
We also decided to suspend that prerequisite based on some technical issues on ground," he said.
Oloyede spoke further: "We came to a decision yesterday and decided that we will suspend the use of NIN as a prerequisite for the 2020 UTME and Direct Entry (DE) registration until 2021.
"By then, all candidates would have been given one year notice to register.
"This does not affect our permanent and adhoc staff who will participate in the exercise as they will require the NIN for verification.
"We have gone round and seen the passion and commitment of the candidates; the reality on ground is that what we expect is not attainable at the moment, so we shall not inflict more pain on candidates."
Oloyede also noted that technical issues on ground with regards to the system of registration at the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC), was one of the major reasons for the suspension.
According to him, plans are underway for the provision of a more advanced system that will be more efficient for the exercise.
He also said that the board as well as NIMC would continue to share its intelligence reports as well as other plans for the smooth conduct of the exercise in future.
He reiterated that the need for NIN as a prerequisite for the exercise was to tackle identity fraud during examinations.
Also speaking, the Director-General of NIMC, Mr Aliyu Azeez, said that the move was necessary as the commission was overwhelmed with the exercise within the short time given.
He said that NIMC had only 1,000 centres around the country for the exercise and would need up to 4,000 to conduct such exercise.
He, however, stated that the partnership with JAMB would continue while advising parents and candidates for the 2021 exercise to use the opportunity to acquire the number within the stipulated time to avoid last-minute rushes.
Azeez also said that by 2021, NIMC registration would be made available at JAMB Computer-Based Tests (CBT) centres nationwide, with operators on ground to capture candidates.
JAMB has fixed this year's examination for March 14 to April 4, while an optional mock examination for candidates is scheduled for Feb. 18.
Recall that the board had been heavily criticized over its new NIN policy