The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has voiced its disapproval of the Federal Government’s student loan initiative, stating that it is designed to favor private universities and financially benefit their proprietors.
ASUU President Emmanuel Osodeke expressed concerns about the student loan legislation signed into law by President Bola Tinubu on June 12.
The initiative aims to provide interest-free loans from the Nigerian education loan fund to students in tertiary institutions.
Speaking at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) in Bauchi, Osodeke emphasized that the federal government should prioritize funding Nigeria’s education system.
He identified inadequate funding as a significant challenge in Nigerian institutions, suggesting that efforts should be directed at closing the funding gap.
Osodeke argued against the student loan initiative, contending that it would primarily benefit private universities.
He advocated for the provision of grants to students and institutions, asserting that proper government funding is essential for the education sector.
The ASUU president urged parents to join the union in advocating for a better education system, attributing issues such as university charges to insufficient funding.
In his words, “We believe that the Nigerian state can adequately fund education with discipline. If the Nigerian state is serious, it can fund education.
We are against the student loan as a form of funding education; we think the loan will go back into the coffers of private individuals who are in government today and own private universities. We just want to show the government that we believe that the resources are available to take care of education.”