Nigerian lawmakers have unanimously suspended the use of the national identity card to sit the examination of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

The House of Representative on Wednesday asked the exam board to suspend its plan to use the ID card until 2021 to allow more prospective candidates to register and also to create more awareness.

The motion for the suspension was moved by Zainab Gimba.

The lawmakers commended JAMB for collaborating with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) while urging the commission to establish more registration centres to ease registration.

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 registrations 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.”

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