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DEMS Volunteers’ hails JAMB on NIN, seeks special funding for NIMC

Digital Economy Media Support Volunteers’ (DEMS Volunteers’), weekend commended the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), for suspending the use of National Identification Number (NIN) as a requirement for registration in the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

However, while recognising the reasoning of JAMB in saving thousands of students from falling prey to unforeseen NIN registration racketeers, the body called for immediate special budgetary allocation for the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to deepen capacity.

Director General of DEMS Volunteers, Prince Stan Okenwa, expressed fears that NIMC may not be receiving adequate yearly budgetary and called for special funding that will enable the Commission to increase registration systems capacities in their states and regional offices.

“It is still fresh in our minds, the statement accredited to the Director-General of NIMC, Engr. Aliyu Aziz, who reportedly said that the nation’s identity management will not succeed unless there is, strong political commitment, on the part of government, backed by adequate funding.

“Engr. Aliyu Aziz’s comment, on Monday, December 9, 2019, at the 6th General Assembly of the Northern Traditional Rulers Council, (NTRC), held at the Arewa House, Kaduna, speaks volumes, as regards the state of things at the Commission.

Prince Okenwa averred that “Like any government reform, political will and strong leadership, are required to implement the national identity project.”

“Therefore, it is a no brainer that NIMC was not going to meet up the JAMB requirement.

“Our fears, were confirmed again, on Saturday, when the DG said that, they registered only about 2million supposed JAMB candidates, out of an expected 10million.

“Thus, with 1,000 registration centres, out of a supposed, (standard), 4,000 centres, the whole thing, was a trial and error process. This must be addressed, as the nation requires adequate national data and identity management, to meet up with the digital economy agenda.

While reiterating DEMS Volunteers’ readiness, to partner with NIMC to highlight the progress made in NIN registration and the challenges faced by the Commission, Prince Okenwa, further urged the Federal Government, to ensure that, NIMC increases the number of registration centres up to 10,000, by 2021, replace damaged data collection systems, or, repair faulty ones, for smooth registration process.

“The secret of digital economy and development planning is a credible national biometric database. This is one of the reasons that FG should increase the capacity of NIMC”, DEMS Volunteers said.