ASUU President Calls New Student Loan Law Discriminatory
The student loan legislation, according to Osodeke, is discriminatory, and ASUU will shortly respond to the development.
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is not overjoyed with the development, even though President Bola Tinubu’s signing of the student loan bill into law has caused enthusiasm in certain places.
Interest-free legislation was proposed by 9th House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.
President Tinubu, on Monday, June 12, 2023, signed the student loan bill “in fulfilment of his promises to liberalise funding of education”.
Dele Alake, a presidential assistant, announced the news to reporters at the State House on Monday. He added that the legislation on student loans would allow poor students to get government loans to pay for their education.
“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.
The national president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, is unhappy with the legislation passed to assist needy students.
Osodeke referred to the student loan legislation as discriminatory in an interview with ThePunch and predicted that ASUU would soon respond 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 the president of ASUU, Mr. Anderson Ezeibe, national president of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, is unimpressed 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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