By Mighty Oluwayemi.
The implementation of the student loans scheme will begin in the 2023/2024 academic session, as announced by the Federal Ministry of Education. David Adejo, the ministry’s permanent secretary, shared this information during a meeting with the House of Representatives committee on student loans.
Adejo also clarified that the signing of the student loan act did not lead to an increase in charges by federal universities, contrary to rumours.
He highlighted that President Bola Tinubu has instructed the necessary preparations to be completed for the student loan program to commence in September 2023.
Adejo further mentioned that the president has established a coordinating committee, chaired by the chief of staff, which includes key entities such as the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Budget Office, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Finance.
This committee has also formed a technical team responsible for developing a robust framework for initiating the program and addressing any legal obstacles that may impede Nigerians’ access to the loan.
Regarding the recent increase in charges by federal universities, Adejo expressed his disappointment and clarified that no federal university is permitted to collect tuition fees from students.
The charges collected by the universities are meant to cover expenses such as accommodation, ICT, and power, among others. The approval for such charges lies with the governing councils of the universities.
Adejo further explained that the charges collected by the institutions are used to pay for various services, including electricity bills. He justified the universities’ need for increased charges by stating that despite these charges, the universities still struggle to meet some of their expenses.