Nigeria passes bill on interest-free student loans
The bank "must have the powers to approve and distribute the loan to approved applicants," according to the bill.
A bill to create a bank that can lend money to students in higher education institutions, such as universities and colleges, was approved by the Nigerian parliament.
The legislation is a first for Nigeria. The National Assembly's two chambers approved it on Tuesday, and President Muhammadu Buhari will now review and approve it.
Femi Gbajabiamila, the bill's sponsor and speaker of the House of Representatives, said that the Nigerian Education Bank will provide interest-free loans to students pursuing higher education in Nigeria.
If passed into law, it should make it possible for students to receive additional government funding.
The bank "must have the powers to approve and distribute the loan to approved applicants," according to the bill. Additionally, it will keep an eye on the fund or account for student loans to ensure compliance with disbursement.
The loan recipients are required to begin repaying the loan as soon as they land a job, after finishing their education, and after performing the required national service.
Nigerian banks have only been providing student loans with very strict terms, such as a very short duration, to the students' parents.
Students in need have been forced to leave school or take on odd jobs to make ends meet.