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President Tinubu Signs Student Loan Bill into Law to Enhance Access to Higher Education

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President Bola Tinubu has officially signed the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2024, into law.

The enactment of this bill comes after thorough reviews by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, with a focus on enhancing the execution of the Higher Education Student Loan Scheme in the country.

During the brief ceremony, President Tinubu emphasized the importance of education in combating poverty, stating that every Nigerian child deserves the right to quality education. He commended the National Assembly for their swift handling of the bill, underscoring the government’s commitment to ensuring that no Nigerian is excluded from educational opportunities due to financial constraints.

Sponsored by Senator Bamidele Opeyemi of Ekiti Central Senatorial District, the bill aims to address various issues related to the management structure of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, applicant eligibility criteria, loan purposes, funding sources, and procedures for disbursement and repayment.

Key provisions of the bill include the establishment of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) as a legal entity with the authority to offer loans to eligible Nigerians for tuition, fees, charges, and living expenses while studying in approved tertiary institutions and vocational training centers in Nigeria.

Additionally, the student loan bill eliminates income-based eligibility criteria, broadens the scope of eligibility, and allows for loans to cover various institutional charges and maintenance allowances.

With these changes, the government aims to ensure that education receives the necessary attention and support for all citizens, regardless of their financial background.

The enactment of this bill marks a significant step towards enhancing access to higher education in Nigeria and empowering its youth for a brighter future.

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