As the signing of the student loan bill into law by President Bola Tinubu is raising excitement in some parts of the country, the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), expresses displeasure about the development.President Tinubu on Monday, June 12, 2023 signed the student loan bill “in fulfilment of his promises to liberalise funding of education”.
The bill sponsored by Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives is interest-free.
Aides to the president Dele Alake announced the news to State House Correspondents on Monday, stating that the student loan bill will allow needy students to receive government loans to pay for their studies.
“This is a promise made during the presidential campaign by the then candidate, His Excellency Bola Tinubu, that he will bring back the student loans issue onto the front burner.
“And today, that promise he made has been kept. He has just signed that bill into law, which henceforth would allow or enable our indigent students to access Federal Government’s loans to fund the educational pursuit or career,” Alake said.
The national president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, is unhappy with the law that was passed to assist needy students.
Osodeke referred to the student loan law as discriminatory in an interview with ThePunch and predicted that ASUU will soon respond to the development.
“The union will react soon but everyone knows our position on student loans because you will end up encumbering the children of the poor with loans and debt after graduating. This is discriminatory. If what I read online is correct, it said it is only for children whose parents earn at least N500,000 per annum. That means if your father earns more, you won’t benefit,” he said.
Like ASUU President, the National President, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Mr Anderson Ezeibe is equally not impressed by the development.
He said, “I have not studied the bill and we don’t want to react on the surface. But I have seen one area that will not be practicable.
“It says that students should refund the money two years after NYSC. But what is the provision for someone who is not working after NYSC? And will they all get jobs immediately after NYSC?”