What Is Nigerian Student Loan Bill Signed By Tinubu?

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President Bola Tinubu has signed the Student Loan Bill into law which was part of his campaign promises. Giving out student loan was one of Tinubu’s agenda while contesting to run for the seat of the President of Nigeria.

This is part of my effort to develop the education sector and also build the youth capacity.

Tinubu

Femi Gbajabiamila, the Chief of Staff  to the president; Dele Alake, a member of the President’s Strategic team; Tunde Rahman, spokesman of the president; Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, a presidential spokesman; and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, David Adejoh, were all present to witness the signing.

What Is Nigerian Student Loan Bill?

The Nigerian Student Loan bill which was sponsored by Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives, makes provision for funds (money) to be present in the Ministry of Education account and to be accessed by indigent students of tertiary institutions.

READ ALSO: How To Apply For Student Loan In Nigeria?

The Nigerian Student Loan Bill provides direct access to higher education for Nigerian students through interest-free loans from the Nigerian Education Loan Fund.

A member of the Presidential Strategic Team Mr Dele Alake, was the announcer of the bill which was signed into law on Monday, June 12. 

When asked if the new law will not encourage inflation of school fees, Alake said the two situations are unrelated, adding that the idea behind the law is to help indigent students obtain education in the country.

He said; 

“We are very happy to announce to you that today, just a few minutes ago, the President His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, signed into law, the Student Loans Bill and that Student Loans Bill, you all know what it entails, what it connotes the meaning.

“This is the promise made during the presidential campaign by the then candidate, His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that he will bring back the student loans issue to the front burner and today, that promise he made has been kept, he has just signed that bill into law, which henceforth, will allow or enable our indigent students to access federal government loans to fund their educational pursuit or career and this is how it’s done in other developed climes all over the world”

According to the bill, which was sighted by our correspondent on Monday, students applying for loans under this Act must apply to the Chairman of the Bank through their respective institutions upon satisfying of the following conditions:

i. Student must have secured admission into any public Nigerian University, Polytechnic, college of education or any TVET school; Applicant income or family income must be less than N500,000 per annum; Applicant must provide at least two civil servants as guarantors: of not less than level 12 years in service; or a Lawyer with at least 10 years post-call experience; a Judicial officer; or a Justice of Peace.

ii. Students who have defaulted on previous loans; found guilty of exam malpractice, felony, or drug offences will not be considered.

iii. Students with parents who have defaulted in respect of previous loans will not be considered.

Following the satisfaction of the conditions listed above, applications for the loans will be submitted through the Students Affairs Office of each institution via a list of all qualified applicants from the institution accompanied by a cover letter signed by the Vice-Chancellor or Rector or the head of the institution and the Student Affairs.

On the repayment, the act states that “Any beneficiary of the loan to which this Act refers shall commence repayment two years after completion of the National Youth Service Corps programme. Repayment shall be by direct deduction of 10 per cent of the beneficiary’s salary at source by the employer.

“Where the beneficiary is self-employed, he shall remit 10 per cent of his total profit monthly to the student loan account to be prescribed by the bank.

“For the purpose of sub-section 3 above, a self-employed person shall, within 60 days of assuming that status, submit all information such as the name of business, address and location, registration documents, registered, name of bankers, names of partners, name of directors and shareholders to the Commission.

“Anyone in default of the provisions of sub-section 4 above or found to be aiding the default of any of the provisions of this Act is guilty of an offence and, if convicted, shall be liable to imprisonment for two years or a fine of N500,000 or both.”

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