President Bola Tinubu on Monday directed the authorities in all Federal Institutions of higher learning to avoid arbitrary increase in sundry fees payable and where possible defer further increase so that parents and students don’t face too many difficulties.
He also approved the provision of buses to the students’ bodies of all universities, polytechnics and colleges of education across the country.
Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy, Dele Alake, disclosed this in a statement he signed on Monday titled ‘FG ready to provide buses for higher education students, removes restrictions on students’ loans.’
The directive comes barely five days after the Presidency insisted that tuition remains free in federal universities, despite the hike in miscellaneous fees in several universities nationwide.
Acknowledging the rise in fees in federal universities in the country, it insisted that these are ancillary fees and do not affect tuition.
However, the President is calling for a stoppage in the arbitrary increase in these miscellaneous fees and defer further increase to ease the burden of guardians and students.
Alake said this was based on President Tinubu’s “desire to see that students can access their campuses without much difficulty as a result of higher transportation costs.”
He also reasoned that providing buses will remove the burden of additional cost of daily commuting on parents and guardians.
“In line with his promise to ensure no Nigerian student abandons his or her educational pursuits as a result of lack of money and economic circumstances of their parents, President Tinubu has also approved the removal of all restrictions on the students’ loan to make it available to any student or household that may desire it,” the statement read.
The Students Loan Act signed by on June 12, 2023, gives indigenous students access to credit facilities to fund their education.
However, it is inaccessible to students proven to have defaulted on any previous loans granted by any organisation.
Furthermore, loan seekers whose parents had defaulted on a student loan or any other loan granted to them were disqualified from receiving the loan.
Those eligible for the loan must also have income limits not exceeding N500,000 per annum.
The Presidency also revealed that the Federal Government is working to ensure that vulnerable students can also benefit from conditional cash transfers and food distribution, as part of the release of over 200,000 Metric Tonnes of grains to families in 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
It said Tinubu would continue to prioritise education and the needs of the students, improve welfare of teaching and non-academic staff and invest in infrastructure to make our institutions of higher learning become more globally competitive.
“The FG salutes the courage, wisdom and partnership of Nigerian Students as our country navigates this challenging time,” Alake noted.