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Students’ Loan Scheme Kick-off In Jan — Gbajabiamila

Byadulawo

Nov 26, 2023

The Chief of Staff to the President, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has revealed that efforts are underway to ensure the take-off of the Students’ Loan Scheme in January 2024 to give Nigerian students access to fund their educational aspirations.

Gbajabiamila stated this in Lagos while delivering a lecture titled, “Empowering Nigerian Youths in the Present Day Economy” at the 35th convocation ceremony of Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH).

He stated that to make the process seamless, “applicants will apply online, be verified online, and be credited based on the verifiable documents and credentials they have submitted.”
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According to him, “Earlier this year, His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR signed the Students’ Loan (Access to Higher Education) Act, establishing the Education Loan Fund and creating a new legal framework to provide education financing through interest-free loans to Nigerian students. Efforts are underway to ensure that by January 2024, Nigerian students can access these loans to fund their educational aspirations. The application system for the student loan programme is being designed so that there is no interface between the loan administrators and the beneficiaries. Applicants will apply online, be verified online, and be credited based on the verifiable documents and credentials they have submitted. Nobody will need to know anybody to qualify for these loans, so that access to this financing will be genuinely egalitarian.
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“The student loan system answers part of the question of how to fund a quality public tertiary education but doesn’t answer all of it. Any serious conversation about the future of tertiary education in Nigeria must include a thorough consideration of the ways and means of addressing the funding needs of public tertiary institutions beyond government subvention. In this regard, we cannot for much longer avoid the simple truth that tertiary education costs money, and the best institutions worldwide succeed, amongst other things, because they can generate significant sums through fees, investments and other means.
“The simple truth is that for our institutions to compete favourably, we need more resources than are currently available to address the dangerous decline in the quality of scholarship and academic output and the graduates we produce from many of our institutions.”
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He stated that in a perfect world, access to education will be a fundamental benefit afforded to every individual from basic through tertiary. And our learning centres will be majestic citadels of research and innovation, open to all who seek knowledge, regardless of means. But this is not a perfect world. In this real world, education is a commodity and a quality education even more so. Therefore, the central public policy challenge is the conflict between the competing objectives of access and quality. How do we fund a quality tertiary education without imposing costs that make access to quality education impossible for most people?

“We require a programme of aggressive and sustained investment in education. Not only in the physical infrastructure of classrooms and lecture halls but in technology hardware and software to facilitate information exchange and innovation.

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