Students Loan Scheme Will Plunge Students Into Permanent Debt – ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has raised concerns over the proposed education loan scheme, warning that it will plunge students into perpetual debt. ASUU, following its National Executive Council meeting at the Niger Delta University, criticized the failure of the government, led by Bola Tinubu, to address longstanding issues, leading to nationwide strikes in 2022.

The union highlighted the recurring pattern of unfulfilled agreements between successive Nigerian governments and ASUU, including the payment of Earned Academic Allowance and the unprogressive renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement. ASUU expressed skepticism towards the Students Loan Scheme promoted by international financial institutions like the IMF and World Bank, fearing it would divert funds from public universities to private institutions.

ASUU proposed alternatives, advocating for grants, scholarships, and the restoration of the Needs-Based Budgeting System to ensure equitable funding for universities. The union also condemned the recent surge in school fees, urging the government to utilize diverted funds to support government-funded education.

Furthermore, ASUU called on the government to conduct a needs assessment to determine the required intervention in public universities, referencing the previous commitment of N1.3 trillion over six years outlined in the MoU 2013, which has not been honored.