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Tinubu Signs National Students Loan Amendment Bill Into Law

The Student Loan Bill was first enacted in June 2023 as the second piece of legislation signed since Tinubu assumed office in May 2023



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President Tinubu has signed the National Student Loan Amendment Bill into law.

The Student Loan Bill was first enacted in June 2023 as the second piece of legislation signed since he assumed office in May 2023.

The bill was enacted to enable indigent students to access loans at interest-free rates.

It is worth recalling that the piece of legislation was sponsored by the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, and passed the third reading in the House on May 25, 2023.

The implementation of the law was, however, delayed due to various issues.

In March 2024, Tinubu wrote to the national assembly, urging the repeal and reenactment of the student loan law.

The letter, read on the floor of both chambers, listed the objectives of the Student Loan (Access to Higher Education) (Repeal and Reenactment) Bill 2024.

The proposed changes address challenges related to the management structure of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELF), applicant eligibility, loan purposes, funding sources, and disbursement and repayment procedures.

The new act introduces several favourable adjustments.

Notably, the old act housed the fund within the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), with the CBN governor handling management and executive responsibilities.

Critics argued that this fell outside the CBN’s primary mandate, lacking clarity in responsibility and accountability for day-to-day management.

However, the proposed law separates governance functions from management operations by establishing a board of directors for NELFUND, comprising a chairman and secretary.

Another issue in the previous law was the restriction on loan applications solely for tuition fees.

The amendment now empowers the fund to provide loans covering tuition, fees, charges, and upkeep during studies in approved tertiary education institutions, and vocational, and skills acquisition institutions in the country.

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