Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has fulfilled one of his campaign promises by signing the Student Loan Bill into law
The funds for the loans will be managed by the Ministry of Education and accessible only to needy students enrolled in tertiary institution
The Student Loan law includes penalties for defaulters, such as imprisonment and fines, to encourage loan repayment
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu officially signed the Student Loan Bill into law, marking a significant milestone in tackling the financial barriers students face seeking quality education.
Under the newly enacted law, Nigerian students would have access to interest-free loans to support their educational pursuits, Punch reports.
The Ministry of Education will administer the funds for the loans and exclusively benefit disadvantaged students enrolled in tertiary institutions nationwide.
Details on the new student loan
Dele Alake, the spokesperson of President Tinubu, stated that the primary objective of the bill is to provide a pathway to higher education for financially disadvantaged Nigerians through the Nigerian Education Loan Fund.
Eligible students must demonstrate evidence of indigence to qualify for the loans.
To ensure the efficient disbursement of loans and oversight of the initiative, a committee comprising representatives from various education stakeholders will be established.
Categories of students not qualified for the loan
However, specific categories of individuals have been deemed ineligible for the loans, as highlighted by Tribune.
1. Applicant proved to have defaulted in respect of any previous loan granted by any organisation.
2. Applicant found guilty of exam malpractice by any school authority.
3. Applicant with a criminal record of felony or any offence involving dishonesty or fraud.
4. Anyone who has been convicted of drug offences
5. Applicants whose parents (father or mother) have defaulted on student loans or any loan granted to him or her.
Penalties for defaulting on student loan
The Student Loan Bill also includes penalties for defaulters to encourage loan repayment.
Also, students who fail to repay their loans may face up to two years of imprisonment, a fine of N500,000, or both.