NANS wants House of Rep to amend student loan Act

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Abuja

NANS wants House of Rep to amend student loan Act

Loan

Abuja, Aug. 25, 2023(NAN) The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has urged the House of Representatives to amend the  Student Loan Act to accommodate all Nigerian students who desire loans.

Mr Usman Barambu, the President of the association made the call at the legislative ”summit” on students’ loan and access to higher education, organised by the house ad hoc committee in Abuja.

He also called for inclusion of student representation on the board and capture Polytechnics and Collages of Education on the board instead of only National University Commission (NUC) which was earlier captured.

Barambu said criteria for access to loan in the current act was too stringent, adding that the method of payment of two years was too short but should be reviewed to at least 4 to 5years.

He said there was a need to look at the list of guarantors to access the loans, adding that most students would not be able to meet the guarantors requirement.

“Student loans are for us yet on the board there is no student representation. The board only captured NUC sidelining the polytechnic and colleges of education, which should all be included for fairness and equity.

“The method of payment should be looked into as most students will not be able to find their ground financially two years after graduation, therefore, it should be revised to four to five years.

“The act also gives no room for forgiveness in cases of death especially for security officers, that should also be looked into, ” he pleaded

Also speaking, the JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede said the act represented a turning point in the history of higher education in Nigeria, in the 21st century.

Oloyede tasked the lawmakers on the feasibility of the loan covering other areas, while calling for the need to review the act to cover the cost of other things beyond school fees.

He said students now pay more for accommodation, feeding and transportation.

The JAMB boss also called for the development of a conducive environment for the repayment of the loan even as he noted that the Act should be calibrated to factor in market instability, inflation pandemics and force major.

He said the loan should not be one amount at all times adding that guarantees should be inserted so that it will be above inflation.

Oloyede, however, urged the parliament to develop an accountability framework for the loan and called for measures that would guarantee it’s sustenance.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami said that FIRS was committed to working with the parliament on the students loans project.

He said that as soon as the mandate was giving, the funding would be made available, but expressed concern about the 1 per cent federal government revenue meant for the funding.

He suggested that instead of federal allocation only the parliament should seek amendments that would allow the funding to be drawn from a federation account where all states can contribute too.

Speaking earlier on behalf of the Speaker of the House, Rep. Abbas Tajudeen, the Deputy Speaker, Rep Benjamin Kalu said the summit was aimed at addressing the issues emanating from the Student Loan Act 2023 –

He said the law promotes more equitable access to quality higher education for our children, adding that education was integral to the development of any nation, and no country could afford to toy with the future of its young people.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Student Loan Act was designed to address the financial challenges faced by young Nigerians to accessing higher-quality education.

This can be done by accessing credit facilities, which the Act aims to ensure that deserving students are not denied educational opportunities due to financial constraints.

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