Convert Students Loan To Grants For Poor Students – ASUU Tells Tinubu

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President of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Professor Emmanuel Osodeke has advised the Federal Government to consider giving grants instead of loans to Nigerian students.

Professor Osodeke while speaking on Channels TV Sunday Politic on Sunday said, “the idea of student loan came in 1972 and there was a bank established like this. People took loans and never paid.

“In 1993, the military instituted a student loan baled and in 2004 the law was domesticated but within one year. So we are looking to see how this new law will fare.

“The one billion which will be deposited in the bank for the loan by Nigerian standard is nothing. Today we have up to one million students in Nigerian universities. I can assure you in public universities, 90 per cent of them are gasping for air. Their parents less than a bag of rice per month.

“Going by a copy of the law I saw online, only those whose parents earn less than the minimum wage will be qualified for the loan. If the father and mother are working and both earning minimum wage, then most students will not be qualified to access the loan,” he said.

Professor Emmanuel also said that the income from the federation account that will be used to service the loans will be better if they are going to give this set of students who are very poor, it will be called a grant since they don’t earn more than N500,000.

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“This source of funding if aggregated will solve most of the problems without encumbrance.

“If you put all this funding together, it will be as high as TETFUND and the government will be able to invest in infrastructure. Then those who need grants will be awarded.

“Every year in every university, we pick indigent students not less than 10 to sponsor. Some of these students that we know cannot move on. This is done by all state branches of ASUU,” he said.

“In 2023, the Minister had to run to court and stop us but the issues are still there.

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“The beauty of this new President is that he is aware of all that gas happened from beginning to end. The new chief of staff was also one of those to resolve this issue but was neglected by outgoing regime.

“Our hope is that this new regime has an open mind, meets with ASUU, looks at all the issues and help resolve them in the interest of Nigerian students,” he said.

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