Changes made in new Student Loan Law - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Friday, April 5, 2024

Changes made in new Student Loan Law

The Student Loan Bill was among the first set of bills signed into law by President Bola Tinubu in the early days of his administration,  but the hues and cries that greeted some provisions of the law literally made it difficult  to implement. Lecturers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, and the National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria, NAPTAN, among others, kicked against some of the provisions of the law.

The development led to a series of postponements of the launch date of the scheme.

However, bowing to pressure from the various stakeholders, President Tinubu had to sent letters to the Senate and the House of Representatives calling for a repeal of the law and sent another bill for passage in the bid to address perceived shortcomings and even bring in new ideas.

The main areas of change in the new bill signed into law by Tinubu last Wednesday are as follows: "the provision that the income of the family of a beneficiary should not be more than N500,000 has been totally removed. No need to show evidence of family income. A student who wants to benefit should only have NIN, BVN and evidence of being a student.

-The provision that a beneficiary should have a guarantor, who should be a lawyer, a Justice of Peace or Cleric has been removed too. 

-Also, a beneficiary can apply for loan to pay school fee, hostel fee or even pocket money.

-On the repayment period that was initially set to start after two years of leaving school, a slight amendment has been made. If a beneficiary is unable to secure job after two years, he or she can write the board, attaching a sworn affidavit that he or she has not secured gainful employment.

 However, a false affidavit would attract prosecution and conviction.

-Also, in the case of accident or death of a beneficiary, provision is made for forgiveness after necessary investigation has been made to confirm such. 

-An innovation in the new law is that Technical and Vocational Education Scheme, TVES, has been incorporated. Students and apprentices in TVES schools or organisations registered with the government can also apply. This is to allow artisans under training in organisations such as mechanic workshops that are registered with the government be part of the scheme. Tinubu said their inclusion is to help bridge the gap in the production of manpower needed in such areas. 

-It also made provision for the constitution of the board of the Nigeria Education Loan Fund, NELFUND.


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