Students Loan Act: NANS condemns 2-year post NYSC repayment time frame

Sharon EboesomiMarch 19, 20244 min

NANS proposed a minimum five-year repayment duration, saying that the two-year post-National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) repayment time frame for the loan is unrealistic.

Students Loan Act: NAN condemns 2-year post NYSC repayment time frame

To tackle the limitations hindering easy access to the Students Loan Act, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has condemned the time frame for the repayment of the loan, tagging it as “unrealistic” because less than 10 per cent of Nigerian graduates get absorbed into the labour force upon completion of their  NYSC.

NANS therefore proposed a minimum of five five-year repayment duration as against the two-year post-National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) repayment time frame, given the challenges of unemployment after graduation.

These suggestions were made on Monday by the President of the association, Lucky Emonele, at a public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Education and TETFUND and the House of Representatives Committee on Student Loan, Scholarship, and Higher Education Financing.

The public hearing was centred on the repeal and re-enactment of 2024 Students Loans Access to Higher Education Bill 2024.

OrderPaper recalls that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu last Thursday, forwarded a letter to the Senate and the House of Representatives, seeking a repeal and re-enactment of the Access to Higher Education Act, 2023, otherwise known as the Student Loan Act following a temporary suspension of the commencement of the student loan programme aimed at enabling Nigerian students enrolled in tertiary educational institutions to obtain low-interest loans to finish their education

Emonele during the public hearing, advocated for the provision of study grants for students from Nigeria to help students finish or advance their education, grants must be made available.

The Federal Government through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) could earmark N683 billion on public tertiary institutions in 2024, without requesting for payback from beneficiary institutions. Nigerian students should not be treated any different.”

READ ALSO: Student Loan: ASUU bent on maintaining poor tertiary education model – Lawmaker 

He also pleaded that the administration of tertiary institutions should not use the availability of a loan programme as justification to suddenly raise tuition and pushed for a resolution to be passed by the National Assembly that would forbid public universities from raising tuition during the next ten years.

Senator Muntari Dandutse (APC, Katsina South), who chaired the joint committee, said the student loan scheme will address issues of students and ultimately improve  Nigeria’s tertiary education as it had become a pressing concern for many Nigerian students.

Also speaking at the public hearing was the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, represented by the Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau who assured that the legislative agenda of the 10th National Assembly will bring about tremendous improvement in the standard of living of Nigerians.

According to him, the scheme will deal with the issue of Nigerian students not having enough money since the ideal legislation will be determined by taking into account the perspectives of all parties involved.

Other stakeholders at the public hearing included officials of the Federal Ministry of Youth Development, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), the Ministry of Education, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), among others.

Sharon Eboesomi

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