The Student Loan Bill was introduced by Femi Gbajabiamila, the former speaker of the 9th House of Representatives, and approved by the legislature in late May 2023.
In order to make financing university education more accessible to everyone, Gbajabiamila asked the Education Bank to offer interest-free loans to students in tertiary institutions in November 2022.
He said it while presenting the University of Lagos’ 52nd convocation speech.
The presentation’s theme was “Building Back Better: Creating a New Framework for Tertiary Education in Nigeria in the Twenty-First Century.”
In this regard, he claimed that he had backed the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education Bill) in the National Assembly.
He noted that one of the most frequent demands he always received as a lawmaker and politician was money for tertiary education, as the future of gifted children could be in jeopardy.
“The bill proposes to provide students with interest-free loans.”
Following the Student Loan Act’s approval by the House and President Tinubu’s signature, here are eight things to know:
1. All applicants must apply to the Chairman of the Bank and through the Student Affairs Office of their various institutions – University, College of Education, Polytechnic or Vocational School – established by the Federal Government or any State Government.
2. Each applicant must provide two guarantors who must be a civil servant with at least 12 years experience, or a lawyer with at least 10 years post-call experience, or a Judicial Officer, or a Justice of Peace.
3. A student can be disqualified if they or their parents have defaulted of any loan in the past, or they (student) have been convicted of drug related offences or any felony involving dishonesty or fraud, or they if the student has been found guilty of exam malpractices by any school authority.
4. Processing and disbursement of the loan shall be made within 30 days of the application reaching the Bank
5. The loan granted to students shall be only for the payment of Tuition and shall be interest-free.
6. Payment of the Loan shall commence two years after the completion of the applicant’s NYSC programme.
7. 10% of the applicant’s salary shall be deducted at source by any employer for the repayment of the loan. And if they are self-employed, they will remit 10% of their total monthly profit as repayment of the loan.
8. Defaulters, or anyone aiding them shall be liable, upon conviction, to two years imprisonment, or a fine of N500,000 or both.