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National Assembly Passes Student Loan Bill

The National Assembly has passed the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2024. Last week, President Bola Tinubu transmitted the…

The National Assembly has passed the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2024.

Last week, President Bola Tinubu transmitted the Bill to the National Assembly for its consideration and passage.

The lawmakers had given the Bill accelerated hearing by suspending relevant sections of its standing rules and referred the Bill to the Committee of the Whole for consideration.

The president in his letter explained that the request for repeal of the Students Loans Act 2023 and a fresh enactment is to address some challenges with the earlier Act and to enhance the implementation of the students loan scheme by his administration.

On Wednesday, the senate passed the bill following consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND that considered the Bill.

The chairman of the committee, Senator Muntari Dandutse (APC – Katsina South) presented the report during plenary.

A committee of the senate and house of representatives would be set up to harmonise the bill, after which it would be sent to the President for assent.

Recall that in June 2023, Tinubu signed a Bill to start a Students Loan Fund that would give interest-free loans to Nigerians for higher education.

Last year, Tinubu had promised that the scheme would take off with effect from January 2024.

However, the delay in the implementation of the bill had triggered criticisms.

Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, (TETFund), Sonny Echono, had said the delay in the implementation of the bill was due to some observations raised by the National Assembly.

Stakeholders have raised issues around the Students Loans scheme, especially as it has to do with eligibility requirements, funding sources, disbursement and repayment procedures, among others.

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