Monday 12 June 2023

Tinubu signs students loan bill into law (PHOTOS)

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has kept one his campaign promises by signing into law a bill making available to Nigerian students interest free loans to pay their tuition fees.

Tinubu signed the law on Monday on a day that Nigeria also marked the June 12 Democracy Day.

According to a statement by the Presidency, the Students Loan Bill was sponsored by former Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila. It was passed by the National Assembly.

The legislation has as its short title, the ‘Students Loan (Access to Higher Education) Bill, 2019,’ While its long title is ‘A Bill for an Act to provide for easy access to higher education for Nigerians through interest-free loans from the Nigerian Education Fund established in this Act with a view to providing education for all Nigerians and for other purposes connected thereto.’

The Bill seeks the establishment of the Nigerian Education Fund, domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from which qualified applicants can access education loans through the commercial banks in the country.

The Bill provides that notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in other enactments, all students seeking higher education in any public institution of higher learning in Nigeria shall have an equal right to access the loan under this Act without any discrimination arising from gender, religion, tribe, position or disability of any kind.

“The loan referred to in this Act shall be granted to students only for the payment of Tuition fees. The grant of the loan to any student under this Act shall be subject to the students/applicant(s) satisfying the requirements and conditions set out under this Act.”

Gbajabiamila, now Tinubu’s chief of staff had argued in the Bill that the hardship being faced by the unemployed and low-income earners coupled with the very high cost of living in Nigeria over the years has made access to quality higher education difficult, stressful and in some cases impossible.

He also noted that a well-educated citizenry is critical to our National development and our Nation’s ability to compete in the Global Economy, arguing that higher education should be regarded as a public good benefiting the entire country rather than a commodity solely benefiting the individual recipients.

“In tandem with the Federal government’s interest and quest in ensuring access to higher education, the National Assembly has agreed to prescribe a legislation that will guarantee access to quality higher education by qualified Nigerians,” he said during the debate on the Bill.


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