Senate Passes Amended Student Loan Bill

The Senate, on Wednesday, passed the Student Loan (Access to Higher Education) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2024 into law.

This comes after the Senate consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) presented by the committee’s chairman, Senator Muntari Dandutse during plenary.

Recall that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had transmitted the Bill to the National Assembly for its consideration and passage last week.

The Senate had given the Bill accelerated hearing by suspending relevant sections of its standing rules and referred the Bill to the Committee of the Whole for consideration.

After debate on the Bill, Senate President Godswill Akpabio referred the Bill to the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND for further legislative work and to report back in one week.

The Bill seeks to provide easy access to higher education for indigent Nigerians through interest-free loans from the Nigerian Education Loan Fund established in the Act to provide education for all Nigerians.

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Meanwhile, bill seeking to grant five-month leave to persons who lose their spouse has scaled second reading in the House of Representatives.

Sponsored by Honourable Saidu Abdullahi, the bill seeks to enable the widow or widower mourn the deceased spouse and make immediate arrangements for the challenges ahead.

According to Saidu, there is a need for consideration of the bill on cultural and religious grounds.

Abdullahi said the bill is designed to place Nigeria among the top countries in the world in terms of workers welfare as the law exist in many countries.

According to him, research findings had shown that in Nigeria, organisations in the public sector grant up to 14 days leave for workers who lost their spouses for the burials.

However, he said that 14 days is inadequate when one looks at the prevalent cultural and religious practice in Nigeria.

The Speaker of the House, Tajudeen Abbas, in his ruling, referred the bill to the House Committee on Public Sector Reforms for further legislative actions.