- The student loan bill, which provides for interest-free loans to indigent Nigerian students, passed the third reading at the House of Representatives.
- To provide easy access to higher education for indigent Nigerians through interest-free loans from the Nigerian Education Loan Fund
- A bill for an act to provide that 10% of jobs available in all federal MDAs and companies be distributed among the physically challenged persons in Nigeria was also passed.
A bill to enable Nigerian students to access loans at interest-free rates passed 3rd reading in the House of Reps on Wednesday.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Nigerian House of Representatives after plenary on Wednesday.
Another bill passed seeks to reserve 10% of available jobs in ministries and agencies for persons living with disabilities and also passed the third reading.
According to the statement by the House of Reps, the two bills, which were sponsored by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, passed third reading at the House on Wednesday in Abuja along with 10 other bills, they added:
- “The student loan bill, which provides for interest-free loans to indigent Nigerian students, has passed third reading at the House of Representatives.
- “Another critical bill, which seeks to reserve 10% of available jobs in ministries and agencies for persons living with disabilities, also passed the third reading.”
The statement added that the long title of the bill is for an Act to repeal the Nigerian Education Bank Act and Enact the Student Loan (Access to Higher Education) Act
- “To provide easy access to higher education for indigent Nigerians through interest-free loans from the Nigerian Education Loan Fund established in this Act with a view to providing education for all Nigerians and for related matters.
- The other read: ” A Bill for an Act to provide that 10% of jobs available in all federal MDAs and companies be distributed among the physically challenged persons in Nigeria where such persons apply and are qualified for the job and for related matters.”.
Recall Nairametrics reported last year that a bill to enable Nigerian students to access loans was cleared by both houses of Nigeria’s Parliament.
The bill, sponsored by House of Reps leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, called the Student Loan Bill, will enable students to have access to interest-free loans.
They revealed that the bill will enable Nigerian students to have access to financial assistance as the two chambers advanced the bill.
- The bill: The office of House leader Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila said the bill was titled, “A Bill For An Act To Provide For Easy Access To Higher Education For Nigerians Through Interest-free Loans From The Nigerian Education Bank.”
The House had passed the bill earlier and forwarded it to the Senate for concurrence. The Senate, in turn, passed the bill on Nov. 22.
They added the Senate’s concurrence on the bill; a clean copy would be produced and transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent. Once it is signed into law, Nigerian students will begin accessing the loans.
The bill seeks the establishment of the Nigerian Education Bank, which shall have powers to supervise, coordinate, administer, and monitor the management of student loans in Nigeria.
They also noted that students can receive applications for student loans through higher institutions in Nigeria on their behalf of applicants.
Applicants would be screened to ensure that all requirements for granting the loan under the Act are satisfied.
- “The bank shall also have the powers to approve and disburse the loan to qualified applicants; control, monitor, and coordinate the students’ loan.
Interest-free loans (or more precisely loans without a coupon) will be a DISASTER and not self-sustainable. Even the world’s richest-ever nation, the US, charges interest on educational loans (as does other rich nations like the UK and Canada), because the cost of administering and servicing such loans is substantial, not to mention the cost of ‘charge-offs’ on defaulted loans.
Public basic education is already free and/or heavily subsidized in Nigeria, and even public tertiary and university education is subsidized (ie, students in public universities in Nigeria do not pay anywhere near the cost of private universities in Nigeria, much less universities elsewhere), but education is NOT cheap and any model developed to provide it should be sustainable.