The Federal Government has declared its intention to provide assistance to both small and large businesses as part of efforts to revive the country’s struggling economy. Furthermore, the student loan program is set to commence in the upcoming session.
The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education, David Adejo, revealed this information in Abuja during a meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Student Loans.
He mentioned that President Bola Tinubu has instructed the finalization of necessary procedures for the implementation of student loans, targeting a commencement date in September 2023.
The permanent secretary emphasized that the president has established a coordinating committee, chaired by his Chief of Staff, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila. This committee includes key entities such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Federal Budget Office, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance, among others.
Adejo also refuted the rumor circulating that the signing of the Students Loan Act had led to several federal universities raising their fees.
While acknowledging the recent unfortunate increase in charges by federal universities in the country, he clarified that no federal university is authorized to collect tuition fees from students.
He stated, “What they collect is charges to cover the cost of accommodation, ICT, and power, among others. It is the governing councils of the universities that have the power to approve such charges for them.
“The only university that increased charges after the signing of the student loans act is the University of Lagos. They came to the ministry with a proposal to increase their charges because all governing councils were dissolved, and we gave them approval.
“Immediately that was done, there was a resolution from the House stopping the increase of fees, and the president also gave a directive stopping any increase in fees, and that is where it is, even though several others have brought their proposal.”
The permanent secretary further elucidated that the charges collected by the institutions are utilized to cover some of their services, including electricity bills. He justified the universities’ need for an increase in charges, stating that, despite the charges, the universities have struggled to meet some of their expenses.