• Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Senate moves to repeal, reenact student loan law

Students loan: Kwara central senator lauds Tinubu for signing bill into law

A bill for an Act to repeal the Students Loan and  Access to Higher Education Act 2023 and enact the Student Loans Access to Higher Education Bill 2024 has passed second reading at the Senate on Thursday.

President Bola Tinubu had in June 2023,  signed the Student Loan Bill into law to enable Nigerian students to access loans at interest-free rates. ⁣⁣

The student loan scheme was scheduled to take off today,  but the presidency, dashing the hopes of many Nigerians announced its  postponemt  prior to the date.

The president is now seeking a reenactment of the law he signed 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.

During debate on the Bill sponsored by Bamidele Opeyemi,  the Senate leader, Adetokunbo Abiru,  Senator representing Lagos East, said one of the main reasons the Loan Scheme was postponed was to enable a reenactment of the law.

The bill, seeks to establish the Nigeria seduction Loan Fund as a body corporate to recieve  manage and invest funds, to provide loans for higher education,  vocational training and skills acquisition.

Leading the debate, Bamidele said the objectives of the Bill are:  Provide loans to qualified Nigerians to pay tuition, fees, charges and upkeep during their course of study in approved tertiary education institutions and vocational and skills acquisition institutions in Nigeria;

Build, operate and maintain a diversified pool of funds to provide loans to qualified applicants and ensure access to higher education, vocational training, and skills acquisition;

Ensure the recovery of all debts due to the Fund from loans granted to qualified applicants, except where the Board is of the opinion that a loanee should be exempted from repaying his loan by reason of: death, considerations of hardship or equity; and impossibility or undue difficulty, or the expenses to be incurred in the recovery of the loan being far more than the amount sought to be recovered.

” I hereby appeal to you all to give this Bill, expeditious passage because of its strategic importance to manpower development, in line with the policy thrust of the current Administration”, he urged.

Lawmakers spoke in favour of the bill and called for its expeditious passage.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio put the bill to a vote and lawmakers voted in favout for it to be read the second time.

The Bill was referred to teh committee on Tetiary institutions and Tetfund to report back at the next legislative day.

With the mood of the Senate, there are strong indications that the Bill will be passed next week Tuesday.