Lawmakers to re-enact Student Loan Law

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President Bola Tinubu has asked the national assembly to repeal and reenact the student loan law.

Tajudeen Abbas, speaker of the house of representatives, read the president’s letter during plenary on Thursday.

The president sent a similar letter to the senate, asking the lawmakers to accord his request “expeditious consideration”.

Godswill Akpabio, president of the senate, read the senate’s version during plenary in the red chamber.

“Pursuant to Section 58 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), I forward, herewith, the Student Loan (Access to Higher Education) (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2024 for the kind consideration of the House,” Tinubu’s letter reads.

“The Student Loan (Access to Higher Education) (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2024 seeks to enhance the implementation of the Higher Education Student Loan Scheme 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.”

Subsequently, the lawmakers gave the bill expeditious consideration, passing it for first and second readings.

Speaking in support of the bill, Mariam Onuoha from Imo, said the reenactment of the law is a relief for most mothers battling with insufficient funds to see their children through school.

She said children would be removed from the streets because they would now have the opportunity to go to school.

“It will tackle the issue of banditry and kidnappings in the country,” she said.

Philip Agbese from Benue said mechanisms should be put in place to ensure that no state is left out of the scheme.

In his contribution, Kingsley Chinda, minority leader, lauded the president for seeking reenactment of the bill, and said the legislature would ensure speedy implementation of the scheme in the interest of Nigerian students and youths.

In June 2023, Tinubu signed the student loan bill into law to provide financial assistance to Nigerian students in tertiary institutions.

However, the law has yet to take effect because of some issues impeding its roll out.

On Tuesday, Akintunde Sawyer, executive secretary of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELF), said the fund would not be able to commit to a specific launch date for now because the federal government is still making adjustments to the student loan policy.

On Wednesday, Bayo Onanuga, special adviser to the president on information and strategy, said Tinubu is committed to launching the scheme properly.

Credit: Daily Post

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