Senate moves to establish financial aid scheme for students 

By Benjamin Arida://

A bill seeking to provide for the establishment of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme scaled second reading in the Senate, on Wednesday.  

The bill sponsored by Senator Umar Sulieman (APC Kwara North), seeks to provide a realistic framework for the success of education financing.

Suleiman, in his lead debate on the principles of the bill, said same provides for the management, governance and administration of the scheme.

According to him, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, upon its establishment, would grant interest free loans and bursaries to eligible students at higher Institutions.

The lawmaker added that it would also ensure the well-structured administration of such loans and bursaries and their recovery. 

Suleiman recalled that the Nigeria Students Loan Board which was established in 1982 to help students finance undergraduate and graduate studies within and outside Nigeria, provided loans between 1972 and 1991 totaling N46 million to help students finance their education. 

He disclosed that out of the sum, the Board faced the problem of recovering outstanding loans of over N40 million, which led to the suspension of the scheme in 1992.

The lawmaker stated that the Students Loans Boards was replaced in 1993 by the Nigerian Education Bank. 

He explained that the Education Bank serves as a major intermediary in education credit market financing, and designed to harness private sector resources for funding education.  

Suleiman noted that the bill to establish the National Students Financial Aid Scheme, also seeks to repeal the existing Nigerian Education Bank.

The bill after consideration was referred by the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND for further inputs. 

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