The Nigerian House of Representatives has warned public tertiary institutions not to use the Students Loans and Access to Higher Education in Nigeria Act to raise tuition fees.
Terseer Ugbor (APC-Benue) proposed the motion during plenary on Thursday in Abuja.
The House also agreed to hold a legislative summit on student loans and access to higher education with all education stakeholders.
Ugbor, who proposed the motion, stated that financial support from family members and relatives was often regarded as a traditional source of funding for higher education around the world.
He stated that over the last 60 years, governments in both developed and developing countries had put in place various student loan and educational credit schemes to allow students to borrow for higher education funding.
According to him, the use of Student Loans and Educational Credit Schemes is frequently justified in most countries around the world on the grounds that it ensures greater access to higher education for less privileged citizens.
He went on to say that it was also based on the idea that education was an investment in human capital, which would promote individual development, economic growth, and national productivity.
After several years of unsuccessful attempts by successive administrations to introduce students loans, scholarships and other educational credit schemes, the 9th National Assembly passed the Students Loans Bill.
He stated that President Bola Tinubu recently signed it into law to provide the legal and institutional framework for the implementation of a Students Loan Scheme in the country.
He stated that the Student Loans’ objectives and intentions were patriotic and would have a positive impact on access to higher education in Nigeria, particularly among underprivileged citizens.
However, he stated that there were several critical omissions and identifiable bottlenecks that would stymie the Act’s successful implementation.
This, he claims, is if immediate additional legislative action is not taken to ensure its effective implementation.
He stated that a legislative summit with all key stakeholders was urgently needed to develop a strategy to ensure the smooth implementation of the Act for the benefit of indigent Nigerian students.