The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has announced that National Identity Number (NIN) will be compulsory for the registration of school certificate examinations from 2022.
WAEC’s Head of National Office (HNO), Patrick Areghan, revealed this at a news conference in Lagos. He said that NIN requirement is part of the Council’s progress in the conduct of its Nigerian operations.
“Let me also use this medium to announce that as we continue to make progress in the conduct of the Council’s business in Nigeria, NIN will become a major requirement for registration for the WASSCE examination with effect from the WASSCE for School Candidates, 2022 and subsequent diets,” he said.
He also said the development was in line with the Federal Government’s policy as directed by the Federal Ministry of Education. And that means that all prospective candidates must register with National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to be issued their NIN.
FG’s enforcement of NIN
Recall that in December 2020, Nigeria’s Federal Government directed that all Nigerians who hadn’t linked their SIMs to their NIN by the end of the year should be disconnected from telecoms services. This sent millions of Nigerians into a frenzy as they crowded offices of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to register for their NINs to avoid disconnection.
But the FG would postpone its deadline just before its expiration, thus beginning a series of postponements currently in its sixth run. The current deadline has been set for October 31st.
A major reason for the postponements is the FG’s inability to enforce compliance. The threat to disconnect tens of millions of Nigerians doesn’t seem feasible because it would essentially cripple the operations of telecom companies and set back the entire industry. The government, therefore, had to look for more workable means of ensuring compliance.
Several measures aimed to enforce compliance have been put in place. For example, the NIN has become a requirement for obtaining an international passport, permanent voters card (PVC), driver’s licence and other official documents.
There are also reports that Nigerians now require NIN to complete transactions on international eCommerce platforms like Amazon. More recently, the FG made NIN a registration requirement for candidates who wish to sit for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry.
The Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board said 95% of UTME candidates met the NIN requirement. It also said NIN helped the board uncover up to 500,000 fake candidates. Hopefully, the WAEC would reap such benefits of adopting NIN as a requirement for registration.