NANS visits Tinubu, wants ASUU removed from board overseeing students’ loan
The leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Tuesday sought the removal of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) from the committee to oversee the the new Nigerian Education Loan Fund.
This was disclosed by the body’s National President, Umar Barambu, in Abuja.
Barambu had led a NANS delegation during a visit to President Tinubu, over the modalities of the new Student Loan mandate.
According to Barambu, there ought to be students’ representatives within the board.
He said, “We thank the President for the Students Loan Bill.
“We have outlined the clauses that we are not too comfortable with. And part of them is the issue of that board that we mentioned to the President, which we said at least students’ representatives should be captured and there are some organisations that they put there, which to us, they don’t need to be there.
“We gave him an example, most especially the Nigerian Bar Association, ASUU. ASUU has its own microfinance bank running their own affairs without students on their board. So, I don’t think it’s wise for us to allow them to be inside our own board because it is purely students.
“We are the major stakeholders of that bank. So I don’t think allowing them to be there is good. Not only them, we mentioned a lot of people that they should remove and put more of student-oriented organisation,” NANS noted.
In response, the President promised to consider the requests of the NANS leaders but urged the students’ body to ensure unity among its members across the country to achieve more.
“You have to promote unity and stability among each other. You have to employ democratic means in your programmes and elections. I have to say anyone who is unable to accept and celebrate a free and fair election, does not deserve the joy of victory,” Tinubu said.
The Student Loan Bill was proposed by the former speaker of the 9th House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and it was passed by the lawmakers in late May 2023.
In November 2022, Gbajabiamila urged the Education Bank to provide interest-free loans to students in tertiary institutions in order to make funding education at that level more accessible to all.
It was eventually passed into law by President Tinubu on June 12, 2023