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Reps propose 3% revenue for students loan to Tinubu

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The House of Representatives ad hoc committee on Students Loan Fund and Access to Higher Education has proposed that three per cent of the nation’s annual revenue should be channelled to students loan.

The chairman of the committee, Terseer Ugboh, disclosed the committee’s proposal at a public hearing in Abuja to determine the level of progress made by the presidential committee constituted to remove all impediments hindering access to the loan.

Ugboh, while addressing the Federal Ministry of Education and the Implementation Committee, pledged the readiness of lawmakers to assist in the smooth take-off of the scheme.

“We hope the system you are creating will be robust enough to take account of students who are already in school, who want the loan to cover for the one year or two years of their schooling or students who are coming through direct entry.

“It seems to us from this perspective that one per cent of the Federal Government revenue as stated in the Act would not be enough to cover students loan for a year, given the hundreds of thousands of students that we have getting admission every year and those who are currently in school who may wish to also apply for a loan to cover for other years of their schooling.

“I want to suggest that there is a need to increase the requirement from one per cent to three per cent (of government’s revenue). It is quite critical.

“Now we are hearing that the states or local governments may or may not permit that deduction, so, I think there may be a constitutional amendment before that one per cent may be drawn. So, if that is not done, the Federal Government can only draw from its own share of revenue which means state universities may be excluded if the state governments do not agree to participate in funding this student loan from their allocation from the Federal Government,” he said.

The committee chairman also stressed the need for transparency, saying, “One of the reasons many previous schemes failed was the issue of transparency and commitment to executing these schemes. You want to create a system that is technologically enabled so that issue of godfatherism will be out.”

The Director of Legal Services of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Kofo Alada, who spoke on behalf of the technical committee, said a supplementary budget was necessary for the take-off of the students loan scheme, but he assured that his team had set a target earlier than November this year.

He said, “We are technical people working and the kind of process flow that we are looking at is something that Nigeria will be proud of.

“What I will request or recommend to this committee is that of the funding requirement of this project, this body has the power to convene and say we want to give a supplementary budget for this particular project. It is within your power and it is better to plan for this.”

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, David Adejoh, expressed confidence that the scheme would kick off in the 2023/2024 academic session which may begin in October or December this year.

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