The Students Loan Bill, intended to provide students with the funding to begin, continue, and complete their postsecondary education, has been approved by the National Assembly’s two chambers.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, was the primary sponsor of the legislation known as the “Students Loan (Access to Higher Education) Bill, 2019.”
His Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, revealed this in a statement.
If President Muhammadu Buhari signs the legislation, it will lead to the creation of a Nigerian Education Bank, which Nigerians can use to get interest-free loans for higher education or other relevant purposes.
The Speaker of the House had made the following remarks during the bill’s debate: “Education is germane to national growth, and if the citizens have access to it, they will benefit the country.”
According to him, “the National Assembly has agreed to prescribe a legislation that will guarantee access to quality higher education by qualified Nigerians in parallel with the federal government’s interest and drive to provide access to higher education.”
The loan will be used to pay for tuition.
With the Senate’s approval of the Bill, a clean copy will be generated and delivered to President Muhammadu Buhari for approval, according to the statement. Nigerian students may start using the loans after it is signed into law.
The bill calls for the creation of the Nigerian Education Bank, which will have the authority to oversee, coordinate, administer, and monitor the management of student loans in Nigeria. It will also have the authority to receive applications for student loans from applicants through higher education institutions in Nigeria and will screen those applications to make sure that all conditions for the grant of student loans under the Act are met.
The bank shall also have the authority to “approve and disburse the loan to qualified applicants; control and monitor and coordinate the students’ loan account/fund and ensure compliance with respect to disbursement; monitor academic records of grantees of the loan to obtain information on their year of graduation; national service; employment; and to ensure that grantees of the loan commence repayment of the loan as at when due.
The loan mentioned in this Act may only be given to students to cover their tuition costs.