The House of Representatives is poised to amend the act to make the loans easily accessible to students.
This comes following the signing into law of the Students Loan Act by President Bola Tinubu.
The chairman of, the House Ad-hoc Committee on Students Loan and Access to Higher Education, Terseer Ugbor disclose this at an interactive session with officials of the Federal Ministry of Education, at the National Assembly.
He said that “the committee was constituted by the House to convene a “Legislative Summit on Students Loans”, to collate information from stakeholders and policymakers on the best approach to implement the Students Loan Scheme in the country.
” For emphasis, Students Loans are an important aspect of modern education financing around the world, it creates access to education for students who would otherwise be unable to afford higher education or unable to study professional courses needed for our scientific development, industrialization, technological advancement, and economic growth. For students loans schemes to be successful, they must be easy to access, easy to repay, and supported by flexible exit plans so as not to overburden our young citizens and stifle their development after graduation.”
He noted that the committee is also expected to ascertain the implementation plans and current status of the Students Loan Scheme, and thereafter report back to the House on proposed amendments to the Students Loans Act.
He said that the summit would enable the inputs from relevant stakeholders across boards through the memoranda presented which will in turn compile necessary amendments to the proposed Act for the benefit of students.
However, efforts by the Ad-hoc Committee to ascertain the implementation plans for the Students Loan Scheme from officials of the Federal Ministry of Education were unsuccessful, as the Director of Legal Services, Enonebi Azorbo, who led other ministry officials to the parley, was not forthcoming on the information.
Azorbo, who represented the Permanent Secretary, Andrew Adejo, was unable to provide answers to the panel’s query on the activities of the presidential committee on the students Loan scheme.
The House of Representatives, therefore invited the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Andrew Adejo to appear before its Subcommittee on Students’ Loans and Higher Education next week Tuesday, with the view to making known steps put in place by the Ministry to implement the students loan act.
“The Ministry is not prepared to brief us or provide any information to the parliament. You have provided no details of the time frame. And no details of the amendment to this Act,” Ugbor said.
The committee frowned at the absence of the Permanent Secretary despite its invitation, saying that “the outcome of the meeting will equip the committee with adequate knowledge to further carry out a summit on the Act.”
President Bola Tinubu had in his recent Broadcast stated that every barrier to the implementation of the Students’ loan would be lifted, hence the drive of the green chamber to proffer legislative measures to enable the swift implementation. (VoN)