The students loan scheme is set to begin in the 2023/2024 academic session, as revealed by David Adejo, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education.
Adejo made this announcement during a meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Students Loans.
He also clarified that the signing of the Students Loan Act did not lead to a rise in fees in various federal universities, dismissing the rumors.
He highlighted that President Bola Tinubu has instructed the finalization of essential tasks regarding the procedures for executing the student loan program, aiming to begin in September 2023.
Adejo also mentioned that the president has formed a coordination team, led by the Chief of Staff, which includes important organizations like the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Budget Office, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance, among others.
He observed that the committee has also set up a technical group responsible for creating a robust structure for launching the initiative and overcoming any legal barriers that might impede Nigerians from obtaining the loan.
Regarding the regrettable rise in fees by federal universities in the nation, Adejo clarified that no federal university in the country was permitted to demand tuition fees from students.
“What they collect is charges to cover the cost of accommodation, ICT, and power, among others. It is the Governing Councils of the Universities that have the power to approve such charges for them,” he said.
“The only university that increased charges after the signing of the student loans act is the University of Lagos. They came to the Ministry with a proposal to Increase their charges because all Governing Councils were dissolved and we gave them approval.
Immediately that was done, there was a resolution from the House stopping the increase of fees and the president also gave a directive stopping any increase in fees and that is where it is, even though several others have brought their proposal.”