There are so many agencies in Nigeria that would have handled the issue of Student Loan . Why do we love to create more problems than making efforts to solve the numerous problems we have ? We have scholarship board,Tetfund and so many others . Bodies handling the award of grant/ scholarship can as well handle the administration of student loan. Why should we get excited for creating another avenue to share money and create jobs for some idle and unproductive politicians and Professors. I am not excited as the loan will go the way of others- the Nigeria factor .
As developing Country ,I expected Government to be creative in designing our education system to meet our development needs Viz housing ,food production, electricity, technology,health ,urban and rural planning , road etc. Our education system should discourage emphasis on certificates and should address need based education . We are wasting human resources with our copy and paste education system and any student loan without creating opportunities to engage students in the process of building a modern society is dead on arrival.
President Tinubu has not done any favour to Nigeria Students with the Student Loan Law. If he wants to be creative ,there is no need attaching all those conditions before a Student could access the loan . He should have dissolved the NYSC and in place announce a compulsory military training for all Nigerians after Secondary Basic education (SSCE) ,thereafter ,loan to either go for tertiary education or learning a desired skills . The administration of such loan should be for all Nigerians so long as one has national identification number(NIN). This is one sure way of demonstrating that Government of Nigeria cares . This action will make tertiary education for certificate less attractive and promote productive system .
Below are some of the things you should know about the new law:
All applicants must apply to the Chairman of the Bank and through the Student Affairs Office of their various institutions – University, College of Education, Polytechnic or Vocational School – established by the Federal Government or any State Government.
Applicant income or family income shall be less than N500,000 per annum
Each applicant must provide two guarantors who must be a civil servant with at least 12 years experience, or a lawyer with at least 10 years post-call experience, or a Judicial Officer, or a Justice of Peace
A student can be disqualified if they or their parents have defaulted of any loan in the past, or they (student) have been convicted of drug related offences or any felony involving dishonesty or fraud, or they if the student has been found guilty of exam malpractices by any school authority.
Processing and disbursement of the loan shall be made within 30 days of the application reaching the Bank.
The loan granted to students shall be only for the payment of Tuition and shall be interest-free.
Payment of the Loan shall commence two years after the completion of the applicant’s NYSC programme.
10% of the applicant’s salary shall be deducted at source by any employer for the repayment of the loan. And if they are self-employed, they will remit 10% of their total monthly profit as repayment of the loan.
Defaulters, or anyone aiding them shall be liable, upon conviction, to two years imprisonment, or a fine of N500,000 or both.
The new Act establishes the Nigerian Education Bank that will supervise the process, administer, and monitor these loans.
The Bank shall have a Governing Board that will be chaired by a Professor who is a retired Vice Chancellor of any Nigerian university. The Board will include representatives from Academic Staff Union of Universities, Vice Chancellors Forum, Rectors Forum, Nigerian Labour Congress, Nigerian Bar Association, the Minister of Education, Auditor General of the Federation, the Minister of Finance or their Representative, Chairman of Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), among others.
Ndubuisi Anaenugwu is an Ambassador of Good Governance Ministry