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Updated: Tinubu signs 2024 reworked student loan bill

"This is to ensure that no one, no matter how poor their background is, is excluded from quality education and the opportunity to build their future"

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President Bola Tinubu has signed Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Bill 2924, assuring that Nigerians dropping out of colleges will be a thing of the past in his administration, Persecondnews reports.

This latest development comes after separate consideration by both the Senate and the House of Representatives of the report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund.

The executive bill, titled “A Bill for an Act to repeal the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act, 2023, and enact the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Bill, 2024.

It seeks to establish the Nigerian Education Loan Fund as a body corporate to receive, manage, and invest funds to provide loans to Nigerians for higher education, vocational training, skills acquisition, and related matters.

The National Assembly’s leadership, ministers, and important education stakeholders observed the signing of the bill at the State House.

Tinubu commended the National Assembly “for their expeditious handling of this bill.”

He said: “I just signed a bill proclaiming the student loan effective. First of all, I must thank the members of the National Assembly for their expeditious handling of this bill.

“Education is the tool to fight against poverty, and we are determined to ensure that education will be given the proper attention necessary, including skilled development programmes.

“This is to ensure that no one, no matter how poor their background is, is excluded from quality education and the opportunity to build their future.

“We’re here because we are all educated.” In the past, we have seen a lot of our children drop out of college; this will be no more.”

The law will allow Nigerian students in tertiary institutions to access low-interest loans for tuition and other academic needs.

The Act creates the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, tasked with managing all loan requests, grants, disbursements, and loan recovery.

According to the Act, the Fund will receive funding from a variety of sources and carry out other beneficial activities.

Its sources of funding as dictated by the Act include: one percent of all profits accruing to the federal government from oil and other minerals; one percent of taxes, levies, and duties accruing to the federal government from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), and Nigerian Customs Service (NCS); education bonds; and education endowment fund schemes.

The education loan will also be funded through donations, gifts, grants, endowments, and revenue accruing to the fund from any other source.

 

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