Nigerian students in higher institutions of learning will be able to gain more access to financial assistance after a ‘Students Loan Bill’ was cleared by both houses of the national assembly.
The bill 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 ”was sponsored by House of Reps leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, called the Student Loan Bill, will enable students to have access to interest-free loans.
Under the scheme, a Nigerian Education Bank would be established to supervise, coordinate, administer and monitor the management of student loans.
And applicants would be screened to ensure that all requirements for granting the loan under the bill are satisfied.
Gbajabiamila had argued in the proposed legislation that the hardship being faced by the unemployed and low-income earners coupled with the very high cost of living in Nigeria over the years made access to quality higher education difficult, stressful, and in some cases impossible.
He also noted that a well-educated citizenry was critical to the nation’s development and its ability to compete in the global economy, arguing that higher education should be regarded as a public good benefiting the entire country rather than a commodity solely benefiting the individual recipients.