Terms/Conditions: Things you must know as Tinubu signs student loan bill into law

President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, signed the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2024, into law.

 

This development follows individual reviews by both the Senate and the House of Representatives of the report from the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund.

 

President Tinubu at the brief ceremony said that the main aim of the new law was ensure that Nigerian children are not denied the right to education which he described as the tool to effectively fight against poverty.

 

He said, “I have just signed a bill proclaiming the student loan effectively. First of all, I must thank members of the National Assembly for their expeditious handling of this bill considering the children of Nigeria, that education is the tool to fight against poverty effectively.

 

“We are determined to ensure that education is given the proper attention necessary for the country including skills development programmes. This is to ensure that no one, no matter how poor their background is, is excluded from quality education and opportunity to build their future.

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“We are here because we are all educated and were helped. In the past, we have seen a lot of our children drop out of colleges and given up the opportunity.

 

“That is no more, the standard and the control is there for you to apply no matter who you are as long as you are a Nigerian citizen.”

 

What is the student loan bill in Nigeria?

The Bill sponsored by Senator representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District of Ekiti State, Bamidele Opeyemi aims to improve the execution of the Higher Education Student Loan Scheme in Nigeria by tackling issues related to the management structure of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, applicant eligibility criteria, loan purposes, funding sources, and procedures for disbursement and repayment.

 

How does the student loan works in Nigeria?

Under this Bill, the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) would be established as a legal entity with the authority to litigate and be litigated in its own name, and it would possess the power to acquire, hold, and dispose of both movable and immovable property to fulfill its functions.

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In essence, the Bill enables the Fund to offer loans to eligible Nigerians for their tuition, fees, charges, and living expenses while studying in approved tertiary institutions and vocational training centers in Nigeria.

 

In contrast to the previous 2023 Act, which placed the Fund’s administration under a Special Committee chaired by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, this Bill proposes changes in the management structure.

 

What are the terms and conditions for student loan in Nigeria?

Furthermore, the Bill eliminates the income-based eligibility criterion set by the existing law, which required an annual income of less than N500,000 for applicants or their families.

 

The Bill also broadens the scope of eligibility, allowing students from federally or state-established tertiary institutions and government-approved vocational institutions to apply, with specific criteria to be determined by the Fund.

 

Additionally, unlike the 2023 Act, which limited loan applications solely to tuition fees, the new Bill permits applicants to request loans to cover various institutional charges and maintenance allowances.

 

 

Akanji Philip

Correspondent at Voice Air Media.

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