• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Students Loan: Nigerian students urge Senate to increase repayment period to 5 years

Tuition hike worries linger as student loan drags
Nigerian Students under the aegis of the National Association of Nigerian Students(NANS), are looking to increase the repayment period of the proposed student loan to five years.  The group is also looking to add the provision of study grants for students in the bill seeking to establish the Nigeria Education Loan Fund (Nelfund).

NANS proposed a minimum of five-year repayment duration instead of the two-year proposed period in the student loan Bill, citing challenges of unemployment after graduation.

Lucky Emonele, President of NANS made the call on Monday at a public hearing on the repeal and re-enactment of 2024 Students Loan Access to Higher Education Bill 2024 organised by a joint Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives on Tertiary Education and TETFUND.

He said the proposed repayment period of two years post-National Youth Service Corp(NYSC) for the loan was not realistic, noting that less than 10 percent of Nigerian graduates get absorbed into the labour force upon completion of their  NYSC.

Emonele also argued that stimulus grants would encourage more students to enroll in school and alleviate the burden that may be placed on the loans.

“If 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 differently”, he said.

He also appealed that the provision of a loan scheme should not be a further reason for arbitrary increments of school fees by the management of tertiary institutions.

He urged the National Assembly to pass a resolution that prohibits public tertiary institutions from increasing school fees in the next 10 years.

In his remarks, Muntari  Dandutse, Chairman of the committee,  said access to quality higher education was a pressing concern for many Nigerian students. He assured that the repealed and proposed Act would address the problem.