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ASUU urges Tinubu to change students loans to grants for indigent students

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on President Bola Tinubu to change the newly signed Students Loans Act to grant for indigent students.

ASUU National President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke made the call on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics programme, monitored by our correspondent on Sunday.

In his words, “This would have been better if we are giving it to those set of students who are very poor, it should be called a grant, not a loan.

“It should be called a grant since it is coming from the Federation Account and not that (after) these people have accessed it and when they are graduating, they have heavy loads behind them and within two years, if they don’t pay, they go to jail. That’s why we’re talking about collective bargaining, you have views from all the sides.”

President Tinubu had signed into law, the Students Loans Bill last Monday, in fulfilment of a promise he made during his campaign.

The bill was sponsored by the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who is now the President’s Chief of Staff.

Now an Act, the law provides for interest-free loans to poor Nigerian students.

However, the ASUU President said the loan is impracticable. He said the loan is “not sustainable”.

According to him, there are more than one million students in Nigerian public universities and the loan cannot adequately cater for students’ tuition.

The ASUU President said the conditions for the loan are “not practicable”, adding that more than 90% of students won’t meet the “stringent requirements” to access and repay the loan.

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