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Students Loan Bill receives critics

Students Loan Bill receives critics
Photo by Ask Nigeria- Ask Nigeria

The bill proposed two years jail term or N500, 000 for defaulters.

The recent Student Loan Bill passed into law by the National Assembly continues to receive critics and condemnation as majority laments on the penalization order attached to it. Initially, the bill was enacted to provide provision and address challenges faced by students in the tertiary institutions in the country. However, it further recommended two years imprisonment or N500, 000 or both for students who fail to repay the loan or anyone found aiding the defaulters. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, cautioned against the condemnation of the Student Loan Bank proposed through the Student Loan Bill.

Sponsored by Gbajabiamila, the bill was titled ‘A Bill for an Act to provide for easy access to higher education for Nigerians through an interest-free loan from the Nigerian Education Bank established in this Act to provide education for Nigerians and other purposes connected thereto.’ The bill urges the establishment of the Nigerian Education Bank, which will be authorized to administer, coordinate, supervise and monitor the management of student loans in the country. It will also be charged with receiving applications for student loans through higher institutions in Nigeria on behalf of the applicants.

Repayment shall be by direct deduction on the beneficiaries’ salary.

Furthermore, the bank will screen the applications to make sure all requirements to grant the loans under the Act are met. It will also have the authority to approve and disburse to qualified applicants while ensuring compliance in respect of disbursement. Subsequently, academic records of grantees will be access to obtain information on their year of graduation, national service, and employment to guarantee that grantees of the loan commence repayment as at when due, among other functions. Under the Act, all students seeking higher education in public institutions of higher learning in Nigeria shall have an equal right to access the loan without any form of discrimination in terms of religion, gender, tribe, position or disability.

While in terms of the loan repayment structure, the bill recommends 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 percent of the beneficiaries’ salary at source by the employer and credited to the students’ loan account to be prescribed by the bank. In a situation where the beneficiary is self-employed, he/she shall remit 10 percent of the total profit earned monthly to the student loan account to be stated by the bank.

No work available in the country making graduates jobless.

However, for the purpose of sub-section 3 above, a self-employed beneficiary 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. Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Federal University of Technology, Minna chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof Gbolahan Bolarin, portrays the law as “dead on arrival.

He stated that Nigeria has issues trying to imitate foreign countries’ policies without considering the country’s situation. Bolarin contends that there is no work available in the country making graduates from over 20 years ago jobless and what makes the scheme work is the repayment to enable others to get access to the loan. He explains that while the scheme will provide N1 Million annually, for a student studying for five years will make it N5 million. He decried that there is no guarantee that such a student will secure a job that will enable the student to repay the loan with the minimum wage fixed at N30, 000.

Such a law cannot be effective, sustainable in Nigeria.

According to Bolarin initially ASUU is not in support of the scheme because of such issues. He asserts that it is of no doubt that the scheme will not be sustainable. Similarly, Ayodamola Oluwatoyin, an education activist, expressed concern over the loan repayment plan noting that such a law cannot be effective in Nigeria. She pointed out that it is hard for graduates to secure a job and also Nigeria conditions are not favourable for business to thrive.


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Admin
1
24 days ago

Students Loan Bill receives critics – The bill proposed two years jail term or N500, 000 for defaulters. – Express your point of view.

Member
8
24 days ago

While the National Assembly has just enacted a Student Loan Bill into law, it has been met with much opposition and criticism due to the mandatory penalties for defaulting on student loans that are included in the legislation.

Member
8
24 days ago

The proposed elimination of the Student Loan Bank as part of the Student Loan Bill is something that we ought to stand opposed to.

Member
8
24 days ago

the Nigerian Education Bank, which was founded by this Act with the goal of providing education to Nigerians and serving other related functions

Member
8
24 days ago

It is problematic for Nigeria to try to mimic the policies of other countries without taking into account the circumstances of the country.

Member
8
24 days ago

With the minimum salary remaining the same, there is no assurance that a student in this situation will be able to find employment that will allow them to repay the debt.

Member
8
24 days ago

It is challenging for graduates to get employment, and the environment in Nigeria is not one that is conducive to the growth of businesses.

Member
9
24 days ago

This country is such a joke how can they pass the student loan bill into law and such huge penalties are attached to it or risk two year jail and there are some out there embezzling this money and nothing has ever been done to them.

Member
8
24 days ago

The plan only functions because of the payback, which allows for other people to obtain access to the loan when there is no work available in the country and graduates from over 20 years ago are out of work.

Member
8
24 days ago

This Bill into law, will meet opposition and criticism due to the mandatory penalties for defaulting on student loans that are included in the legislation.

Member
8
24 days ago

Employment is not available in the country while the salary remain without increasement and the student loan is to be repay back if not this penalty is available for defaulters

Member
9
23 days ago

Students Loan Bill receives critics. This is not fair. Is too much for a student to be sentence to two years f

Member
8
23 days ago

Although the bill is good with the provision it provides but in terms of the two years jail for defaulters it’s too strict with the country we are in I don’t support that.

Abusi
Member
8
23 days ago

This loan bill deserves to be criticized. It was actually criticized rightly. The punishment of 2 years is too much. Instead a better bill which will encourage students take on the loan should be given.

Member
8
23 days ago

Defaulters face this penalty if they are unable to find work in the country, their salaries remain unchanged, or they fail to repay their school loans.

Member
8
23 days ago

The criticism of this loan measure is warranted. The criticisms leveled at it were fair. Two years in prison is excessive. Instead, a more beneficial bill that encourages students to take on the loan should be introduced.

Member
8
23 days ago

Repayment is to be made by the employer directly deducting 10% of the beneficiaries’ salaries at source, with the remaining amount being deposited to an account for student loans that the bank will specify. seems reasonable

Member
8
22 days ago

Our government don’t care about the students. Why will you pass a bill willing to give loan of #500,000 but ready to send defaulters to two years imprisonment. It is certainly not right.

Member
8
22 days ago

Two years in jail is too long. An improved measure that encourages students to take out loans should be put up as an alternative.

Member
8
22 days ago

Why should the National Assembly pass such kind of bill.If they don’t want to give loans to students they shouldn’t bring up the matter. Is it loans they should be given to students or grants and scholarships…?….!!

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