President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has kept one his campaign promises by signing into law a bill making available to Nigerian students interest free loans to pay their tuition fees.
This post will outline some of the requirements and eligibility that must be met before a student can access this loan.
President Tinubu signed the law on Monday on a day that Nigeria also marked the June 12 Democracy Day.
According to a statement by the Presidency, the Students Loan Bill was sponsored by former Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila. It was passed by the National Assembly.
The Bill seeks the establishment of the Nigerian Education Fund, domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from which qualified applicants can access education loans through the commercial banks in the country.
Eligibility and requirement for the students loan
To be eligible for consideration, the student must meet the following criteria:
The student must have been admitted to a public Nigerian University, Polytechnic, College of Education, or any Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) school.
The applicant’s individual income or family income must not exceed N500,000 per annum.
The applicant must provide a minimum of two guarantors who meet the following conditions:
Civil Servants: The guarantors should be civil servants with a minimum service level of 12 years.
Lawyer: Alternatively, a lawyer with at least 10 years of post-call experience can act as a guarantor.
Judicial Officer: A judicial officer can also serve as a guarantor.
Justice of Peace: A Justice of Peace is also accepted as a guarantor
Students who fall into any of the following categories will not be considered:
Previous Loan Default: Students who have previously defaulted on loans.
Exam Malpractice, Felony, or Drug Offenses: Students who have been found guilty of exam malpractice, felony, or drug offenses
Parent’s Loan Default: Students whose parents have previously defaulted on loans will not be considered.
These the requirements put in place ensure for eligible students to be able to access this interest-free loans for their education.
The students interest free loan has however received criticisms from some quarters. It has been argued by by some that the loan will only increase the unemployment rate in Nigeria which stands at around 40%. They insisted the government should focus more on the creation of more industry to absorbed jobless youths already in the labour market. Others have also argued it could end up increasing the tuition fees or cost of education in Nigeria.