By Terhemba Daka (Abuja) and Adelowo Adebumiti (Lagos)
Indigent students to access education loans as Tinubu signs law
President Bola Tinubu has signed the Students Loan Bill into law, in fulfilment of one of his promises to liberalise funding of education in the country.
This was disclosed to newsmen, yesterday evening, by the President’s media team, led by Dele Alake, who is also a member of the Presidential Strategic Team.
Alake, who was accompanied by other members of the team, including Tunde Rahman and Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, David Adejoh, explained that the new law is a fulfilment of Tinubu’s electoral promise.
He dismissed concerns that the law will encourage inflation in school fees, saying both situations are unrelated.
He said the idea behind the law is to help indigent students access education in the country without challenge.
He said: “We are very happy to announce to you that today, just a few minutes ago, the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, signed into law, the Students Loan Bill. You all know what it entails, what it connotes.
“This is the promise made during the presidential campaign by the then candidate, that he will bring back the student loan issue to the front burner and today, that promise has been kept.
“He has just signed that bill into law, which, henceforth, will allow or enable our indigent students to access Federal Government loans to fund their educational pursuit or career. This is how it’s done in developed climes all over the world.”
Meanwhile, the Immediate Past President of National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), Sunday Asefon, described the development as a blessing that would give opportunities to orphans and indigents students.
He said the bill provides these set of people opportunity to secure loans and pursue their education dream.
Asefon said development shows Nigeria is aiming to maintain parity with other countries that have introduced the initiative.
“We saw it in his manifesto. But we didn’t expect it was going to be this quick. The President has not spent a month in office, and he has put a smile on the faces of Nigerian students. The students, their parents and student leaderships are appreciative of the action. This bill will go a long way,” he said.
Also, President, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Anderson Ezeibe, said the union would need to study the bill before it can comment.
“It is going to be premature to talk about it, until our team reviews it. When we do that, we would be able to issue a statement with respect to it.”