Tinubu signs amended student loan bill into law

PRESIDENT Bola Tinubu signed the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2024, into law on Wednesday, April 3.

Special Assistant on Social Media to the President, Olusegun Dada, disclosed this via his official X handle.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has signed the Student Loans Re-enactment Bill into law at the State House,” he noted.

The Senate passed the bill on Wednesday, March 20, after the chairman of its committee on tertiary institutions and TETFUND, Muntari Dandutse, presented a report on the bill the same day.

Tinubu first signed the bill into law in June 2023 to enable students in need to access interest-free loans to pursue their education in any tertiary institution in the country.

However, its implementation was postponed. During the postponement, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFund), Akintunde Sawyer, said he could not give a specific date for the commencement of the programme.



    Tinubu later wrote to the Senate on March 14, seeking a repeal of the Act and a re-enactment of the Students Loan Bill 2024.

    Although the bill is touted to ease access to tertiary education for Nigerian students, members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) described it as an attempt by the government to abandon funding education in public universities.

    Unlike the initial bill that was passed and subsequently repealed, the new Act removed the provision that required applicants’ families to earn an annual income of less than N500,000 before they could be eligible for the loan.

    It also allows applicants to access loans that cover other fees aside from tuition, unlike the previous Act that limited applications to just tuition.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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