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Review Student Loan Act – NANS Urges Federal Govt | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

Nov 25, 2023

 

 

 

 

 

The National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) has asked the federal government to set up a committee to review the students loan act.

The association made the demand at a stakeholders’ meeting on the establishment of the national education repository and databank (NERD) system and the national policy for its implementation, in Abuja.

On June 12, President Bola Tinubu signed the Student Loan (Access to Higher Education) Bill into law.

The law creates a loan fund to be serviced by 1% of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) revenue, 1% of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) revenue, 1% of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) revenue, and 1% of oil profits.

To be eligible for the loan, the student’s family income must be less than N500,000 per year.

Felix Attah Nnalue, senate president of NANs, said the demand for amendment of the law is to expunge limitations placed on the scope of beneficiaries.

“We want the students’ loan to cover every category of students. We want the nation to set aside special or dedicated funds for this purpose. Financial allocations to fund education should be way higher than allocations to fund the opulent lifestyle of people in government,” he said.

“We want the government to deploy similar technology like the NERD system to transparently track the administration of the students’ loan and tie the loan to the biometric and NIN details of each beneficiary.

“We want the loan to be long term and repayable only upon evidence of commencement of work and earning at a certain band. We want red tapism and third parties removed from the administration of the loan so that the sole requirement will be evidence of being bona fide student – nothing more.”

Nnalue said Nigerian students are fully behind every project of the government that sought to improve the quality of education delivery.

“We are aware that India has about 5 similar national education databank systems such as this. We as students are happy to collaborate with the Nigerian government to support this project, the National Education Repository and Databank (NERD). We will sensitize the body of students and mobilize them to ensure the success of the project,” he said.

He said the NERD system should serve as the official platform since it would be collecting and managing the data of each student in a centralised national databank.

“Let the banks, all banks, be the ones to disburse the loan according to the verified academic footprint of each student. Let JAMB handshake with the NERD system. Let the NYSC handshake with the NERD system. Let the banks handshake with the system so we can have verified data of every bona fide student at every point without having to go to individual institution or depend on them solely for verification.”

 

By Jesupelumi Are

 

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