ASUU President not excited about student loan, says it’s discriminatory



As the signing of the student loan bill into law by President Bola Tinubu generates euphoria in some quarters, the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is not excited about the development.

President Tinubu on Monday, June 12, 2023 signed the student loan bill “in fulfilment of his promises to liberalise funding of education”.

The bill sponsored by Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives is interest-free.

While breaking the news to State House Correspondents on Monday, aide to the president, Dele Alake said the student loan law will enable indigent students to access government’s loans to fund the educational pursuit.

“This is a promise made during the presidential campaign by the then candidate, His Excellency Bola Tinubu, that he will bring back the student loans issue onto the front burner.

“And today, that promise he made has been kept. He has just signed that bill into law, which henceforth would allow or enable our indigent students to access Federal Government’s loans to fund the educational pursuit or career,” Alake said.

But Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, the national president of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is unimpressed by the law enacted to support indigent students.

In an interview with ThePunch, Osodeke described the student loan law as discriminatory, saying ASUU would soon react to the development.

“The union will react soon but everyone knows our position on student loans because you will end up encumbering the children of the poor with loans and debt after graduating. This is discriminatory. If what I read online is correct, it said it is only for children whose parents earn at least N500,000 per annum. That means if your father earns more, you won’t benefit,” he said.

Like ASUU President, the National President, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Mr Anderson Ezeibe is equally not impressed by the development.

He said, “I have not studied the bill and we don’t want to react on the surface. But I have seen one area that will not be practicable.

“It says that students should refund the money two years after NYSC. But what is the provision for someone who is not working after NYSC? And will they all get jobs immediately after NYSC?”


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