President Bola Tinubu has fulfilled his campaign promise by signing the Students Loan Bill into law, providing indigent students in tertiary institutions with access to federal government loans throughout their academic journeys.
Dele Alake, an aide to President Tinubu, announced the signing on Monday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, stating that the bill would significantly enhance educational opportunities for youth nationwide.
However, students seeking to benefit from the loan must demonstrate evidence of financial need.
To ensure efficient disbursement of the loans, a committee comprising key stakeholders in the education sector will be established.
The law mandates that a percentage of the federation’s revenue will be allocated to finance this new initiative.
The law also imposes strict penalties on defaulters and conspirators, with provisions for a two-year imprisonment or a fine of N500,000.
Andrew Adejo, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, expressed confidence that the law would resolve the issue of hindering funds for financially disadvantaged students pursuing education.
He emphasized that the signing of the bill reflects President Tinubu’s commitment to both qualitative and quantitative education during his administration.
Adejo highlighted the ministry’s experience in managing students’ financial matters through the student scholarship boards scheme.
He also noted that the country’s expertise in loan recovery from various projects would contribute to the successful recoupment of the loans.
The permanent secretary further revealed that the interest-free loans would be disbursed based on the students’ years of study and their ability to repay the funds.
Adejo called on the media to play a role in disseminating information on education funding in the country.
He emphasized that state governments should align their financial and technical support with that of the federal government to ensure quality education for Nigerians.