ASUU Appeals to Tinubu: Transforming Student Loans into Grants for Underprivileged Students

The President of ASUU expressed that over 90% of students would be unable to fulfill the “rigorous criteria” to qualify for and repay the loan. ASUU has urged President Bola Tinubu to amend the recently approved Students Loans Act to provide grants for underprivileged students instead. During  Sunday Politics program, ASUU’s National President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, stated, “It would be more appropriate to consider this as a grant rather than a loan when it is given to students from very poor backgrounds. Since it is funded by the Federation Account, graduates burdened with heavy debts within two years of graduation and facing imprisonment if they fail to repay creates concerns. This is why we advocate for collective bargaining and the inclusion of diverse perspectives.”

On Monday, Tinubu fulfilled his campaign promise by signing the Students Loans Bill into law. The bill, sponsored by the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who now serves as the President’s Chief of Staff, grants interest-free loans to financially disadvantaged Nigerian students. However, the ASUU President criticized the feasibility of the loan system, deeming it “unsustainable.” Osodeke highlighted the historical track record of previous loan schemes, stating, “The concept of student loans was introduced in 1972, but those who obtained loans never repaid them, as you can verify. In 1994, the military enacted Decree 50 and established a Students’ Loan Board. The National Assembly adopted it in 2004, but it was discontinued within a year,

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