BREAKING: Senate passes Student Loan bill

By Innocent Raphael

The Senate has approved the 2024 Student Loan Access to Higher Education Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, following a review of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) report, presented by Sen. Mohammed Muntari of Katsina South.

Last week, the bill advanced after a second reading, prompted by President Bola Tinubu’s request to replace the existing Student Loan (Access to Higher Education) Bill with a new one.

The new legislation aims to improve the implementation of the Higher Education Student Loan Scheme by addressing issues such as the management structure of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELF), applicant eligibility, loan purpose, funding sources, disbursement, and repayment procedures.

Tinubu’s move came after the temporary suspension of the student loan system, designed to provide low-interest loans to Nigerian tertiary students.

Additionally, a motion sponsored by Sen. Adebule Oluranti of Lagos West addressed the challenge of out-of-school children in Nigeria. Sen. Oluranti emphasized the urgent need to reduce the current estimated 20 million out-of-school children, as per UNESCO statistics.

Sen. Oshiomhole, among others, urged the Senate to compel the appropriate agency to publish the percentage of out-of-school children in each state, highlighting the responsibility of state governments in addressing this issue.

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