The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) weekend called on the House of Representatives to amend the Student Loan Act in order to allow a seamless access by those desiring such facilities.
Making the call, national president of the association, Usman Barambu, also asked the House to include student representation on the board and commission polytechnics and Collages of Education on the board instead of only National University Commission (NUC) which was earlier captured.
Speaking at the legislative summit on student’s loan and access to higher education held by the ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives, Barambu said the criteria for access to loan in the current act was too stringent, adding that the method of payment of 2 years was too short and should be reviewed to at least four to five years.
He said: “Student loan is for us and in the board, there is no student representation on the board. The board only captured NUC, sidelining the polytechnic and Colleges of Education. They should all be included for fairness and equity.
“Also the method of payment should be looked into as most student are not able to find their ground financially two years after graduation. It should be revised to four to five years. The act also gives no room for forgiveness in cases of death, especially for security officers, that should also be looked into.”
Also speaking at the summit, Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, said the students loan represents a turning point in the history of higher education in Nigeria, in the 21st century.
He tasked the lawmakers on the feasibility of the loan covering other areas.
Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, said the FIRS is committed to working with the parliament on the students loan project, giving assurance that as soon as the mandate is give, the funding will be made available.