Home NEWS EDUCATION NANS Asks Federal Govt To Review Student Loan Act

NANS Asks Federal Govt To Review Student Loan Act

National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) has called on the Federal Government to set up a committee to review the Students Loan Act.
The association made the call at a stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja, on the establishment of the National Education Repository and Databank (NERD) System and the national policy for its implementation.
The students’ resolutions were presented at the stakeholders meeting held at the Federal Ministry of Education.
NANS Senate President, Comrade Felix Attah Nnalue, who articulated the position of the association, said that the call for amendment of the law was to expunge limitations placed on the scope of beneficiaries.
“We want the students’ loan to cover every category of students. We want the nation to set aside special or dedicated funds for this purpose. Financial allocations to fund education should be way higher than allocations to fund the opulent lifestyle of people in government.
“We want the government to deploy similar technology like the NERD system to transparently track the administration of the students’ loan and tie the loan to the biometric and NIN details of each beneficiary.
“We want the loan to be long term and repayable only upon evidence of commencement of work and earning at a certain band. We want red tapism and third parties removed from the administration of the loan so that the sole requirement will be evidence of being bona fide student – nothing more.”
Nnalue said that Nigerian students are fully behind every project of the government that sought to improve the quality of education delivery.
“We are aware that India has about 5 similar national education databank systems such as this. We as students are happy to collaborate with the Nigerian government to support this project, the National Education Repository and Databank (NERD). We will sensitize the body of students and mobilize them to ensure the success of the project.”
He said that the association agreed with the programmes listed in the approved National Policy for the project “which seeks to ensure that no lecturer would henceforth be able to hold a student to ransom over project reports or dissertation due to the opportunity for a third-party trigger that can help school management and other higher authorities to know when students are deliberately being frustrated.
“We are aware that this is a major challenge in virtually all higher institutions. We therefore welcome this wholeheartedly.”
He said that the suggestion of NANS is that the structure of the NERD system or a similar platform to serve as the official platform since NERD would be collecting and managing the data of each student in a centralized national databank.
“Let the banks, all banks, be the ones to disburse the loan according to the verified academic footprint of each student. Let JAMB handshake with the NERD system. Let the NYSC handshake with the NERD system. Let the banks handshake with the system so we can have verified data of every bona fide student at every point without having to go to individual institution or depend on them solely for verification.
“Let there be strict rules on time between application and disbursement and let there be serious consequences for anyone or organization that undermined that rule. This is what is being done in places like the UK, the USA, and Canada. We want Nigeria to mirror this just as we are mirroring best practice on digitization today,” he stated in the position paper at the stakeholders’ meeting.
Also, a former President of NANS, Femi Osanubi, said in a goodwill message at the event. He described the NERD system as the needed game changer.
“As a former leader of the entire students’ body in the whole country, I know from experience that this kind of project that will impact the students’ population requires continuous stakeholder’s engagement.
“I called the organizers a few days ago to offer some suggestions. You will face 3 sets of resistance: (1) resistance due to ignorance, (2) resistance to change as many of our people are afraid of new things. Don’t be surprised if this is even coming from the establishment. (3) You will also face resistance from vested interests.
“There are a lot of people benefiting from the present system. They may fear that what you are bringing will democratize access to knowledge and see it as an attempt to block their sources of ‘extra.’
“Some schools may go protective and shout “we no go gree, it is our property.”
Some people may even tell you, “we have done it already, there is no need for it again.”
“Those are the people speaking from the position of ignorance or vested interest. They have not seen the project scope or the policy.
“My advice is that you must remain steadfast and focused. This Ministry is doing the right thing. This Ministry as the coordinating body for the education sector is the right authority to handle this. This Ministry is doing this at the right time. We have a new leadership in Nigeria that is strongly supportive of fundamental changes that will bring benefits to our people.
“I express my strong support for this project. I am also thankful that the Ministry chose me to represent the body of past presidents of NANS on this occasion.”

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