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Nigerian Senate Passes Amended Student Loan Bill into Law

The Nigerian Senate yesterday passed the Student Loan (Access to Higher Education) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2024, into law. This follows the consideration and adoption of a report by the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), presented by its chairman, Senator Muntari Dandutse.

The bill, initially signed by President Bola Tinubu in June 2023, aimed to establish a student loan program offering interest-free loans for higher education. However, its implementation was delayed.

This new legislation addressing areas like the management structure of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELF), eligibility requirements for applicants, approved uses of the loan funds, funding sources for the program, disbursement, and repayment procedures.

President Tinubu had previously requested the National Assembly to revisit the bill, highlighting the need for these improvements. The Senate fast-tracked the legislation, aiming to enhance access to higher education for financially disadvantaged Nigerians.

The specifics of the amended bill, including interest rates (if any) and repayment details, are not yet public. It’s expected that further information will be released after the bill has been sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence and then to the President for his final assent.

Ezinwanne Onwuka reports for TruthNigeria from Abuja.

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