Student loans will keep beneficiaries in permanent debt -ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has criticized the proposed education loan scheme, saying it will keep students in permanent debt.

According to a statement on Thursday after its National Executive Council meeting at the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, ASUU said it was surprised by the reports it received on the failed promises of the Bola Tinubu-led administration toward addressing the lingering issues that forced the union to embark on the nationwide strike action of February–October 2022.

Successive governments in Nigeria had always paid lip service to the agreements it signed with the union which inadvertently made the union always resolve to use industrial action to fight for its rights.

Unfortunately, some of these agreements, including payment of Earned Academic Allowance, and the unprogressive renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement, removal from the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, revitalisation funds, withheld salaries have not been implemented by the government.

But ASUU insisted that the Students Loan Scheme, being promoted by international money lending agencies such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank would starve public universities of funding.

The statement read, “For the avoidance of doubt, the NEC of ASUU reiterated its rejection of the Students Loan Scheme which is being promoted by international money lending agencies such as IMF and World Bank.

“Nigerians should be aware that the scheme is a way of starving public universities of funding and a ploy to divert public funds into private universities owned by politically exposed individuals and their friends.

“NEC further observed that the students’ loan scheme will mortgage the entire university system and keep our promising students in perpetual indebtedness.

“If the scheme could fail in some better-managed economies, there is no guarantee that it will succeed in Nigeria where unbridled corruption, nepotism, and other unsavoury tendencies conspired to kill the Education Bank project after over five years of its existence.”



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