Some candidates for this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) have decried the delay in the issuance of new Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards by the various Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).
The candidates expressed their feelings in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Asaba.
SIM cards enable prospective candidates for the 2021 UTME and Direct Entry (DE) to acquire profile codes required for the registration for the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB)-organised examination.
Recall that the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy had lifted the ban on registration of new SIM cards and directed the MNOs to begin issuing new ones to the general public.
The candidates expressed worries about the development, noting that they were already feeling frustrated, as they were tired of queuing to obtain and register new subscriber identification module cards.
Chibuzor James, one of the prospective candidates, said that she has been visiting the MTN office since the ban was lifted, without success.“I have been coming to MTN office since Monday and they have not registered me. It is so disheartening to sit and wait all day long,” she said.
Emeka Ucheuno, another prospective candidate, said however that he visited the office for the first time on Tuesday and was told to wait till 1 p.m. when registration would begin.“I am very lucky that I just came here today and was told to wait till 1 pm before we will be registered. But my friend has been coming without success,” he said.
Gladys Emeruo, said there was the need for a decentralisation of the issuance and registration of SIM cards by the mobile network operators in order to ease the anxiety on those who craved for it.Another candidate, Destiny Okaro told NAN that he was at the Airtel office along Nnebisi Road, Asaba to acquire a new telephone number to enable him to register for the examination, but could not.“They just told me that they had yet to begin selling new SIM cards.
One of the workers said he was not certain when they would start selling.“I don’t want to use my brother’s phone number to register because it will cause some problem of identification for me. That’s why I want my own line,” he said.
Recall that the Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Is-haq Oloyode few weeks ago, said the board had applied for a waiver from government to allow applicants for this year’s UTME to obtain new SIM cards for registration.
Oloyode emphasised that the candidates must make use of accessible SIM cards which had never been used for UTME/DE registration.He also said that the board would go into partnership with the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC) on the required National Identification Number (NIN) for UMTE registration.
“Everyone who wants to register with the board must have completed their registration with NIMC, because this year, all we need is first, your NIN.“Once you send it to 55019, no name is required and we will continue from there. We will pull your data from NIMC that’s all,” the JAMB boss had stated.