AYOADE Zariat Yetunde writes,
Following the passing of the Student Loan Bill sponsored by the speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, at both chambers of the National Assembly, Nigerian students in public tertiary institutions will be able to access interest-free loan through the proposed Nigerian Education Bank. The honourable speaker declared this via a press statement, signed by Lanre Lasisi, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, which he released oh his verified Twitter handle on November 22, 2022.
The student loan programme, was billed as “an act to provide easy access to higher education for Nigerians through interest-free loans from Nigerian Education Bank”. The press statement guaranteed that students who meet the required conditions for obtaining the loan shall get it without any form of discrimination.
The speaker highlighted that the student loan programme seeks to check the hardship suffered by unemployed people and low-income earners amid the high cost of living in Nigeria over time, which has undermined access to higher education in the country. He also admitted that access to higher education is crucial towards Nigeria’s development and economic stability.
The release reads, in part, “He [the speaker] also noted that a well-educated citizenry is critical to our National development and our nation’s ability to compete in the Global Economy, arguing that higher education should be regarded as a public good benefiting the entire country rather than a commodity solely benefiting the individual recipients.”

However, whilst Nigerians await the implementation of the law that actualizes the loans, interested students must prepare to meet the mandatory requirements for it, which include the following:

(i) Student must have secured admission into any public Nigerian university, polytechnic, college of education or vocational schools established by the Federal Government of Nigeria as only students already admitted into public institutions can proceed to the Chairman of the Nigerian Education Bank through their respective institutions to obtain the loan. 
(ii) Applicants’ income or family income can not exceed ₦500,000 per annum.
(iii) Students must have never been proven guilty of default in respect of any previous loan granted by any organization, exam malpractice by any school authority, felony or any offence involving dishonesty or fraud or drug offences, or have parent(s) that defaulted in respect of student loans or any loan granted to them.
(iv) Interested students must provide at least two civil servants of not less than level 12 years service as guarantors. Alternatively, the guarantors could be lawyers with a minimum of 10 years post-call experience as a judicial officer or Justice of Peace.
(iv) All applications from every institution must be submitted through their respective Students’ Affairs offices via a list of all qualified applicants from the institution. The list must be accompanied by a cover letter signed by the Vice Chancellor, Rector or the head of the institution, and likewise, the Students’ Affairs Officer, and addressed to the Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Education Bank.
(v) Applicants must commit that upon being selected as beneficiaries of the loan, they shall commence repayment two years after completion of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme. Repayment will be by deduction of 10% of the beneficiaries’ salary at source by the employer. Self-employed beneficiaries, however, shall remit 10% of their profit to the Student Loan Account Provided by the Bank.

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