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Senate Passes Student Loan Act 2024

Senate Passes Student Loan Act 2024

The Senate has passed the Student Loans Access to Higher Education) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2024.

The passage followed the consideration of a report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), presented by the Chairman representing Katsina South, Sen. Mohammed Muntari. This is as the bill, last week, passed a second reading.

President Bola Tinubu had last week, written to the Senate and the House of Representatives, seeking the repeal of the Student Loan (Access to Higher Education) Bill, and to enact a new one.
The new act will enhance the implementation of the Higher Education Student Loan Scheme, by addressing challenges related to the management structure of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELF), applicant eligibility requirements, loan purpose, funding sources and disbursement and repayment procedures.

Tinubu’s action came after the announcement of a temporary suspension of the commencement of the student loan system. The law was put in place to allow Nigerian students in tertiary institutions to access low-interest loans to complete their studies.

A motion compelling the need to tackle the challenge of out-of-school children in Nigeria, sponsored by Sen. Adebule Oluranti representing Lagos West, was also debated.
In a lead debate, Sen Oluranti argued on the need to cause a drastic reduction of the current number of out-of-school children, pegged according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) statistics, at 20 million.

Some other lawmakers like Sen. Oshiomhole enjoined the senate, to compel the appropriate agency to publish the percentage of out-of-school children in each state, particularly to expose defaulting state governments, who through a misplacement of priorities, have continued to endanger the collective wellbeing of citizens.
In its resolution, the Senate asked the judiciary in all 36 states, to set up mobile courts for the enforcement of the Universal Basic Education (UBE)Act.

It also mandated its committee on education, to engage with the Ministry of Education on the issue of out-of-school children, to reduce their number, and set a time limit of two years for the implementation of the UBE Act.

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