Reps C’ttee hail Tinubu for signing student loan re-enactment bill 

Elizabeth AtimeApril 5, 20245 min

The lawmaker explained that the repeal of the initial Student Loan Act was necessitated to remove all the encumbrances that may deprive a lot of Nigerian Students from accessing the Loan.

Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Student Loans, Rep. Gboyega Isiaka, has commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for signing the re-enactment bill to grant low-interest loans and ensure adequate funding to students.

The Chairman while addressing pressmen on Thursday in the National Assembly also said that the Students Loan is for the benefit of Nigerians studying in publicly owned tertiary institutions across the country.

Rep. Isiaka who gave the assurance during a press briefing held in Abuja, disclosed that the quantum of funds required for successful implementation of the Student Loans will be drawn from one per cent (1%) of all accrued revenues of the federation account.

While applauding the initiative, the lawmaker explained that the repeal of the initial Student Loan Act was necessitated to remove all the encumbrances that may deprive a lot of Nigerian Students from accessing the Loan.

The patriotism and determination to make sure that this is a sustainable success still made the Executive and Mr. President in particular to present those far-reaching amendments which have now become law.

“The law has amended so many shortcomings in the 2023 law in the area of funds that we have. Now we have a known corporate entity that is called the Nigerian Education Trust Fund. We now have an institution that is strong, sustainable and comparable to what we have in different parts of the world and going by all that will come into it.”

Isiaka further expressed satisfaction with the initiative: “I am satisfied in my mind that the Nigerian government under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has done so well for the Nigerian educational sector.”

Responding to a question on the possible takeoff time of the scheme, he expressed optimism that the Executive will expedite action on the setting up of the management team of the Institution without further delay.

He stressed that “everybody is in a hurry to get this done,” Hon. Isiaka expressed optimism that the management of the National Education Trust Fund when constituted will be given a marching order to commence work in earnest for the benefit of millions of Nigerian Students.

Isiaka also stated that the Education loan has both economic and social benefits and explained that the Student Loan is interest interest-free loan with a flexible repayment arrangement.

According to him, the Student Loans “covers both Tertiary as well as skills and vocational education. And the law also makes provision for repayment which is done immediately after you finish school.”

While responding to a question on the exclusion of Private Tertiary Institutions from the scheme, Hon. Isiaka who affirmed that the issue was raised by concerned Stakeholders during the public hearing, said: “for anybody that has the capacity to send his or her children to some of those private schools, you will agree with me that the need for such loan is probably minimal.

But talking seriously the thing that I know is that if you look at section 2 of the law, it says that the Nigerian Student’s Loan is set up to manage a group of funds.

“This is a particular stream of funds meant for public tertiary education and I know that plans are on to see what can be developed for private education.”

He also expressed the view that Nigerian Students studying in private Tertiary Institutions can leverage the provisions of section 6 of the law which provides that loans shall cover for school fees and maintenance.

Section 6 of the law provides that the fund will from time to time at least once a year reel out guidelines for the loan, every year. It’s the guidelines that will actually give more details about some of those things. In terms of school fees, maybe another class of funds will take care of that,” he noted.

In the bid to address the challenge of repayment, Hon. Isiaka disclosed that there are adequate provisions in the law that will address the concerns.

According to him, section 29 of the law says, as an employer of labour, once this law comes to be before you employ anyone you must check or ascertain education loan status. And if you don’t, there are penalties for it, both in terms of payment and fine and also imprisonment.

And if you are a private person and also become an Employer of yourself, and if you didn’t do it, there’s a law against you.”

He disclosed that anyone convicted is liable to a N2 million fine or 3 months imprisonment or both.

Elizabeth Atime

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