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Students Loan: NANS proposes five-year post-NYSC for repayment

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has
advocated for a five-year period after the completion of the National Youth
Service Corps (NYSC) for the commencement of repayment for beneficiaries of the
Federal Government loan scheme.

 

NANS argued that expecting repayment to start just two years
after NYSC is not realistic, as less than 10 percent of graduates secure
employment within that time frame.

 

President of NANS, Lucky Emonele, made this proposal in
Abuja during a public hearing on the repeal and re-enactment of the 2024
Students Loans Access to Higher Education Bill.

 

The hearing was organized by the Senate Committee on
Education and TETFUND, as well as the House of Representatives Committee on
Student Loan, Scholarship, and Higher Education Financing.

 

Emonele commended President Bola Tinubu for including NANS
leadership as representatives on the loan board and praised the decision to
repeal the Act to address potential hindrances to the success of the student
loan scheme.

 

He stressed the need for study grants for Nigerian students
and called for measures to prevent arbitrary increments in school fees by
tertiary institutions, urging the National Assembly to pass a resolution
prohibiting public tertiary institutions from raising fees for the next decade
to ensure the sustainability of the loan scheme.

 

“If the Federal Government, through the Tertiary Education
Trust Fund, could earmark N683bn for public tertiary institutions in 2024,
without requesting for payback from beneficiary institutions, Nigerian students
should not be treated any differently,” he added.

 

In response, Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman,
lauded Tinubu’s commitment to education, stating the President’s desire for all
school-age children to have access to education.

 

The minister stated that the public hearing would provide an
opportunity to make further input to improve the bill for the good of Nigerian
students.

 

Chairman of the committee, Senator Muntari Dandutse pointed
out the importance of quality higher education, stating that initiatives like
the student loan scheme would lead to a brighter future for youths and the
nation as a whole.

 

“By removing financial barriers, these initiatives will
enable more students to pursue higher studies, leading to a larger pool of
skilled graduates who contribute to the country’s social and economic
development. Increased literacy rates foster economic growth, social progress,
and democratic participation,” Dandutse stated.

 

Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, represented by the
Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau, earlier expressed optimism that the
legislative agenda of the 10th National Assembly would significantly improve
the standard of living for Nigerians.

 

He commended Tinubu for his support for Nigerian students
through the loan scheme, noting its potential to enhance access to education
and economic development.

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