Tinubu writes Senate over re-enactment of Student Loan Act

Tinubu writes Senate over re-enactment of Student Loan Act

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Thursday wrote the Senate to seek the repeal of the Access to Higher Education Act, 2023, otherwise known as the Student Loan Act while also asking for the re-enactment of a new one.

Tinubu decided to take this step only a day after the Federal Government had announced that the commencement of the student loan system would be temporarily suspended.

The memo dated, Thursday, 14 March, 2024 was addressed to the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio with Tinubu also submitting a fresh bill to be passed into law.

“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 Senate,” the memo read in part.

“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.”

Tinubu signed the Student Loan Act into law in June 2023, a few weeks after assuming office as President.

The Student Loan Act helps to provide interest-free education loans for Nigerians willing to acquire tertiary education.

The students will then pay back the loan in instalments two years after completing their participation in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.

According to Dele Alake who is now the Minister of Solid Minerals, signing of the bill was in “fulfillment of one of Tinubu’s campaign promises to liberalise funding of education”.

The law which was the second piece of legislation President Tinubu signed was sponsored by the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and passed the third reading at the House on May 25, 2023.

“We are very happy to announce to you that today the President, His Excellency, Bola Tinubu, signed into law the Student Loans Bill,” said Alake.

“This is a promise made during the presidential campaign by the then candidate, His Excellency Bola Tinubu, that he will bring back the student loans issue onto the front burner.

“And today, that promise he made has been kept. He has just signed that bill into law, which henceforth would allow or enable our indigent students to access Federal Government’s loans to fund the educational pursuit or career.”

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