Tinubu Enacts Student Loan Amendment Bill, Guarantees Access to Higher Education

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President Bola Tinubu officially endorsed the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2024, into law on Wednesday, solidifying the nation’s commitment to equitable access to quality education.

The bill underwent rigorous scrutiny by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, with thorough considerations by the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund.

Addressing the significance of the legislation, President Tinubu emphasized the government’s dedication to ensuring that every Nigerian, irrespective of socioeconomic background, has the opportunity to pursue higher education and shape their future.

Speaking at the State House, Abuja, President Tinubu remarked, “This is to ensure that no one, no matter how poor their background is, is excluded from quality education and opportunity to build their future.”

The executive bill, titled “A Bill for an Act to repeal the Students Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act, 2023 and Enact the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Bill, 2004,” establishes the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, empowering it to receive, manage, and invest funds for educational loans, vocational training, skill acquisition, and related endeavors.

Expressing gratitude to the National Assembly for swift action on the legislation, President Tinubu affirmed the administration’s resolve to enhance the skill levels of Nigerians, emphasizing the pivotal role of education in combating poverty effectively.

President Tinubu’s endorsement marks a continuation of efforts to broaden access to education. In June 2023, he signed the Access to Higher Education Act, 2023, into law, opening avenues for indigent students to access interest-free loans for tertiary education pursuits nationwide.

The initiative, aimed at fulfilling campaign promises to liberalize education funding, established the Nigerian Education Loan Fund to oversee loan processing, grants, disbursement, and recovery.

Despite initial plans for a September launch, the scheme encountered delays, leading to a postponement in March, attributed to Tinubu’s directive to expand loan offerings to include vocational skills training.

Recognizing the diversity of career aspirations among Nigerian youth, President Tinubu stressed the importance of accommodating skill development programs alongside traditional academic pathways.

“This is not an exclusive program. It is catering to all of our young people. Young Nigerians are gifted in different areas,” President Tinubu emphasized, underscoring the inclusive nature of the initiative.

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