President Tinubu Signs Student Loans Act to Ensure Access to Higher Education

President Bola Tinubu has signed into law the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2024, reaffirming his commitment to expanding access to quality education for all Nigerians. The bill, which received unanimous approval from both the Senate and the House of Representatives, aims to establish the Nigerian Education Loan Fund to provide loans for higher education, vocational training, and skills acquisition.

Addressing the audience at the State House, Abuja, President Tinubu emphasized the importance of ensuring that every Nigerian, regardless of their socio-economic background, has the opportunity to pursue higher education. He expressed gratitude to the National Assembly for their prompt consideration of the legislation, underscoring the government’s determination to enhance the skill levels of the Nigerian populace.

The bill, officially titled “A Bill for an Act to repeal the Students Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act, 2023 and Enact the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Bill, 2004,” was signed in the presence of key stakeholders, including the leadership of the National Assembly, ministers, and education experts. President Tinubu reiterated the administration’s commitment to prioritizing education and skills development programmes as essential tools for combating poverty and fostering national development.

The President’s decision to sign the bill into law builds upon his previous initiatives aimed at expanding educational opportunities for Nigerians. In June 2023, Tinubu signed the Access to Higher Education Act, 2023, into law, laying the groundwork for interest-free loans to support indigent students in tertiary institutions across Nigeria. This legislative milestone marked a significant step towards fulfilling Tinubu’s campaign promise to liberalize education funding and promote equal access to educational resources.

Despite initial delays in the implementation of the student loan scheme, attributed to the government’s decision to incorporate vocational skills training into the programme, President Tinubu remained steadfast in his commitment to inclusivity and diversity in educational opportunities. He underscored the importance of accommodating diverse career aspirations and talents among Nigerian youth, highlighting the significance of skill acquisition alongside traditional academic pursuits.

In alignment with this vision, Tinubu directed the Nigerian Education Loan Fund to extend interest-free loans to students pursuing skill-development programmes, recognizing the pivotal role of vocational training in nation-building. He emphasized that the student loan scheme is designed to cater to the diverse needs and aspirations of young Nigerians, empowering them to contribute meaningfully to the country’s socio-economic development.


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