Tinubu Writes Senate, Seeks Repeal Of Student Loan Law

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PRESIDENT Bola Ahmed Tinubu has written to the Senate seeking the repeal of the Access to Higher Education Act, 2023, otherwise known as the Student Loan Act, and a re-enactment of a fresh one.

President Tinubu’s action is coming a day after the announcement of a temporary suspension of the commencement of the student loan system. The law was put in place to allow Nigerian students in tertiary institutions to access low-interest loans to complete their studies.

According to a memo addressed to the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, and dated 14 March, President Tinubu is seeking the repeal of the existing law and has submitted a fresh bill to be passed into law.

The President’s decision may not be unconnected with the criticisms that trailed the signing of the law, especially the eligibility requirement for applicants, repayment plans, and governance structure.

Mr Tinubu’s letter reads in part: “ Pursuant to Section 58 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), I forward, herewith, the Student Loan (Access to Higher Education) (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2024 for the kind consideration of the Senate.

“The Student Loan (Access to Higher Education) (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2024 seeks to enhance the implementation of the Higher Education Student Loan Scheme by addressing challenges related to the management structure of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELF), applicant eligibility requirements, loan purpose, funding sources, and disbursement and repayment procedures.”
The President sought “expeditious consideration” of the bill.

The Access to Higher Education Act, of 2023, otherwise known as the Student Loan Act, was signed into law by President Tinubu as soon as he assumed office in 2023.

The bill, which was sponsored by the former Speaker of the House of Representatives and now the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, was one of the measures touted by the President and his associates to address the consequences of the removal of subsidy on petroleum products.

But many Nigerians criticised the law, describing it as a Greek gift, even as they condemned the eligibility criteria for applicants and the repayment plans.

 

Eighteen-Eleven Media 

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