President Tinubu Signs Student Loan Bill, Paving the Way for Affordable Higher Education in Nigeria

President Tinubu Signs Student Loan Bill, Paving the Way for Affordable Higher Education in Nigeria

…By Lola Smith for TDPel Media. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has officially signed the Student Loan Bill into law.

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The signing ceremony took place at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Notable attendees included Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, and former Lagos Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Dele Alake.

This significant legislation aims to provide financial assistance to Nigerian students pursuing tertiary education.

Key Provisions of the Student Loan Bill

The newly signed bill ensures that all students, regardless of gender, religion, tribe, position, or disability, have equal access to the loan.

It establishes the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, enabling students in tertiary institutions to obtain interest-free loans.

Additionally, the bill mandates the creation of the Nigerian Education Bank, responsible for administering, supervising, coordinating, and monitoring student loans across the country.

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The loans granted under this Act are specifically intended for the payment of tuition fees.

Eligibility and Application Process for Student Loans

Prospective loan applicants must apply to the Chairman of the Nigerian Education Bank through their respective educational institutions.

To be eligible, students must have secured admission into Nigerian universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, or government-established vocational schools.

Additionally, each applicant must provide at least two guarantors, who must meet specific criteria such as being civil servants of a certain level or experienced lawyers.

The applications, accompanied by the required documents, must be submitted through the Student Affairs Office of each institution.

Disqualification and Repayment Terms for Student Loans

Certain circumstances may result in disqualification from accessing a student loan, including previous loan default, exam malpractice, felony convictions, or drug offenses.

Repayment of the loan begins two years after completion of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program.

Beneficiaries are required to repay the loan by having 10% of their salaries deducted directly by their employers and credited to their student loan accounts.

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Guidelines for Loan Application and Repayment Process

Each loan application should include supporting documents such as the student’s admission letter and recommendation letters from guarantors accepting liability in case of default.

Institutions must ensure timely submission of applications to the bank, no later than 30 days after the close of admission for the academic year.

Self-employed guarantors must provide business particulars registered with the appropriate authority.

Repayment will be facilitated through direct deductions from the beneficiary’s salary by their employer, with 10% of the salary credited to the student loan account.

In conclusion, the signing of the Student Loan Bill by President Tinubu marks a significant step in promoting accessible higher education in Nigeria.

The legislation establishes provisions for loan eligibility, application processes, and repayment terms, with the aim of supporting students in their pursuit of quality education.

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