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Students’ loan: Don’t hike school fees, Reps warn tertiary institutions

The House of Representatives has warned public tertiary institutions in the country not to take advantage of the Students Loans and access to Higher Education…

The House of Representatives has warned public tertiary institutions in the country not to take advantage of the Students Loans and access to Higher Education in Nigeria Act to increase their tuition fees.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Terseer Ugbor (APC-Benue) at plenary on Thursday in Abuja.

The House also resolved to convene a Legislative summit on student loans and access to higher education with all stakeholders in the education sector.

Moving the motion, Ugbor said that financial support from family members and relatives was often considered a traditional source for funding higher education globally.

He said in the past 60 years, such funding indicated that governments in both developed and developing countries had put in place various student loan and educational credit schemes to enable students to borrow towards the funding of higher education.

According to him, the use of Students Loans and Educational Credit Schemes in most countries of the world is often justified on the grounds that it guarantees greater access to higher education for less privileged citizens.

He said it was further predicated on the notion that education remained an investment in human capital which in turn would promote individual development, economic growth and national productivity.

He said, “after several years of unsuccessful attempts by successive administrations to introduce students loans, scholarships and other educational credit schemes, the 9th National Assembly passed the Students Loans Bill”.

He said it was recently signed into law by President Bola Tinubu to provide the legal and institutional framework for the implementation of a Students Loan Scheme in the country.

He said the objectives and intention of the Students Loans were patriotic and would impact positive access to higher education in Nigeria, especially among the underprivileged citizens.

He, however, said that there were several critical omissions and identifiable bottlenecks that would frustrate the successful implementation of the Act.

This, according to him, is if immediate further legislative action was not taken to ensure its efficient implementation.

He said there was an urgent need to convene a legislative summit with all key stakeholders to develop a strategy to ensure the smooth implementation of the Act for the benefit of indigent Nigerian students. (NAN)

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