All You Need To Know About Nigeria Student Loan Bills
- This Bill, which President Bola Ahmed Tinubu today signed into law, would aid many students who are struggling to pay for their education and will enhance education in Nigeria.
- The bill was sponsored by the House of Representatives speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, who argued 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 national development and the 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.
- The Bill would help to ensure access to quality higher education for all Nigerians, regardless of their socioeconomic background. This would in turn benefit the entire country, as a more educated population would lead to increased economic development and competitiveness on the global stage.
- Basically, the “Students Loan (Access to higher Education Bill)” intends to provide interest-free loans to students, with repayment beginning two years after the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.
- The House of Representatives passed the bill earlier last year and forwarded it to the Senate for concurrence. Recently, the Senate gave its approval. Today, June 12, 2023, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu gave his assent, enabling Nigerian students to access loans.
- The Bill seeks to establish the Nigerian Education Bank, which shall have the power to supervise, coordinate, administer, and monitor student loans in Nigeria. The Bank will receive applications from students for loans through higher institutions in Nigeria on behalf of the applicants, and shall screen the applications to ensure that all requirements for the grant of student loans under the Act are satisfied.
- The bank has the power to approve and disburse loans to qualified applicants, control and monitor students’ loan account/fund, ensure compliance with disbursement, and monitor academic records of loan recipients. This information is used to ensure that loan recipients commence repayment of the loan as soon as they graduate, complete their national service, or find employment.
- The bill provides that all students seeking higher education in any public institution of higher learning in Nigeria will have an equal right to access the loan under this Act, without any discrimination based on gender, religion, tribe, position or disability of any kind.
- Under the scheme, students can only use loans for payment of tuition fees. It is important to note that in order to qualify for this loan, students must meet the requirements and conditions that are set out in detail.