President Bola Tinubu has signed the Student Loan Bill into law which was part of his campaign promises. Giving out student loan was one of Tinubu’s agenda while contesting to run for the seat of the President of Nigeria.
What Is Nigerian Student Loan Bill?
The Nigerian Student Loan bill which was sponsored by Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives, makes provision for funds (money) to be present in the Ministry of Education account and to be accessed by indigent students of tertiary institutions.
The Nigerian Student Loan Bill provides direct access to higher education for Nigerian students through interest-free loans from the Nigerian Education Loan Fund.
As of the moment, some federal owned universities have started announcing an increase in tuition fees. For instance, PUNCH exclusively reported in December 2022 that some Federal Government-owned universities announced a 200 per cent increase in tuition fees.
How to apply for Nigerian Student Loan signed by Tinubu
According to the Nigerian Student Loan bill, students applying for loans under this Act must apply to the Chairman of the Bank through their respective institutions upon satisfying of the following conditions:
- Student must have secured admission into any public Nigerian University, Polytechnic, college of education or any TVET school; Applicant income or family income must be less than N500,000 per annum; Applicant must provide at least two civil servants as guarantors: of not less than level 12 years in service; or a Lawyer with at least 10 years post-call experience; a Judicial officer; or a Justice of Peace.
- Students who have defaulted on previous loans; found guilty of exam malpractice, felony, or drug offences will not be considered.
- Students with parents who have defaulted in respect of previous loans will not be considered.
- Following the satisfaction of the conditions listed above, applications for the loans will be submitted through the Students Affairs Office of each institution via a list of all qualified applicants from the institution accompanied by a cover letter signed by the Vice-Chancellor or Rector or the head of the institution and the Student Affairs.
- On the repayment, the act states that “Any beneficiary of the loan to which this Act refers shall commence repayment two years after completion of the National Youth Service Corps programme. Repayment shall be by direct deduction of 10 per cent of the beneficiary’s salary at source by the employer.
“Where the beneficiary is self-employed, he shall remit 10 per cent of his total profit monthly to the student loan account to be prescribed by the bank.
“For the purpose of sub-section 3 above, a self-employed person shall, within 60 days of assuming that status, submit all information such as the name of business, address and location, registration documents, registered, name of bankers, names of partners, name of directors and shareholders to the Commission.
“Anyone in default of the provisions of sub-section 4 above or found to be aiding the default of any of the provisions of this Act is guilty of an offence and, if convicted, shall be liable to imprisonment for two years or a fine of N500,000 or both.”