ASUU warns against student loan scheme, accuses government of victimisation 

The Calabar zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said the student loan scheme of the federal government is an avenue to plunge students into perpetual indebtedness, advising government to instead help students through grants and scholarships.

 The zone, which is made up of Abia State University, Akwa Ibom State University, Ebonyi State University, Cross River University of Technology, University of Calabar, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndifu Alike and the University of Uyo said this in Calabar at a press conference Tuesday.

Zonal chairman, Comrade Happiness Uduk, who was flanked by chapter chairmen from the zone, said, “the union reiterates its extant opposition to increase in fees mid sundry charges as well as introduction of student loan scheme.

“The student loan scheme is an offshoot of international lending agencies, including the IMF and the World Bank, and the scheme is targeted at mortgaging the entire system while keeping indigene students in perpetual indebtedness.

“The loan scheme is aimed at further underfunding public universities at the behest of their masters, so the private universities owned by politicians could access the funds meant for public schools.

“The union proposed that if the government wants to invest in the lives of Nigerian students, it should do so through grants and scholarships rather than through the everlasting indebtedness in the pretext of students’ loan.”

 The union also decried what it described as victimization of its members in state-owned universities especially in the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, adding, “Our members are owed arrears of salaries in ABSU, CRUTECH and EBSU, while Earned Academic Allowances have never been paid in state-owned universities in the South-east.

 “Our members in EBSU have been victimised and their entitlements denied them even after seeking redress in the court of law. These maltreatments of our members in state-owned universities may hinder industrial harmony in those universities.”