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Candidates for this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) have bemoaned their inability to register, saying with Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board’s (JAMB) insistence on National Identity Number (NIN) as mandatory, more hardship has been added to their registration predicament.

They alleged that with NIN requirement, the board has forced them to go through difficulties like extortion, long queues in scorching weather, non-adherence to COVID-19 protocols and other unwholesome practices devoid of ethics to enable them register.

Others lamented that even with NIN, they could not complete the first stage of application process.

The examination body had on April 5, extended its registration date, and in a statement by its Head of Information and Public Affairs, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, apologised for its inability to complete the process of smooth pin vending and candidates access to the registration app for this year’s UTME/DE examinations. The registration exercise would end on May 15.

However, investigations showed that the code provided by JAMB for authenticating applicants’ NIN after they have sent messages responded with error, denoting that their NIN is invalid instead of generating “profile codes.”

A profile code enables applicants visit accredited Computer Based Centres (CBT) to complete registration.

A parent, Mrs Sarah Jones, accused the examination body of making things difficult for millions of candidates preparing for the forthcoming UTME. According to Jones, her son who registered for NIN and got his number since February 2021 could still not register for the examination due to inability of National Identity Management Commission [NIMC] in Lagos to upload to server in Abuja.

Jones said: “The difficulty in identifying NIN of candidates means that they may not participate in the mock exams even if they wanted to, and may not participate in UTME if the problem persists.”

A school owner in Ojota area of Lagos, Imaobong Essien, also expressed concern over inability of her students to generate profile codes due to issues around NIN linkage.

“It’s a national crisis and thousands of SS3 students in my school have not been able to register. Out of 60 students, only 10 have been able to register for NIN, while others are still struggling and out of this number, only four have successfully registered for UTME.

“Even those who registered in January this year and got their NIN could still not register for the examination due to network challenges and inability to link their NIN during registration process.

Essien noted that the situation is the same in other schools within the metropolis, as students could not get their profile codes because of similar problems.

A UTME candidate, Paul, expressed fears of missing out on this year’s examination just for not obtaining NIN.

He said: “I have an android phone that I used to start my UTME registration. My SIM is registered but I have not been able to get my NIN. I cannot generate my JAMB profile code on the application portal because of my inability to register for NIN. This is my first UTME, and my parents are worried that I may not be able to write exam if I don’t get NIN. I have enrolled for it but the slip is not yet ready.”

Together with a registered mobile number, NIN is one of the details UTME candidates must enter to successfully generate their JAMB profile code. The code would then be used to complete e-registration at CBT centres.

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