ASUU Warns Students Loan Scheme Will Lead to Perpetual Debt

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has raised concerns that the proposed education loan scheme will keep students in permanent debt. Following its National Executive Council meeting at the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, ASUU expressed surprise at the failed promises of the Bola Tinubu-led administration to address the issues that led to the nationwide strike action of February–October 2022.

ASUU stated that successive Nigerian governments have not fully implemented agreements signed with the union, including payment of Earned Academic Allowance, unprogressive renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement, removal from the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, revitalization funds, and withheld salaries.

ASUU rejected the Students Loan Scheme promoted by international money lending agencies such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, stating it would starve public universities of funding and divert public funds into private universities owned by politically exposed individuals and their friends. ASUU believes the scheme will keep promising students in perpetual indebtedness.

Instead, ASUU suggested that if the state and Federal Governments truly wish to invest in Nigerian students, grants and scholarships should be made available, and the Needs-Based Budgeting System should be restored to the university system for greater efficiency.

ASUU also condemned the significant fee hikes in schools, stating that funds diverted from government treasuries should be used to fund universities. The union called on the Tinubu administration to conduct another needs assessment exercise to verify the call for massive intervention in public universities, as was done in 2012, leading to the allocation of N1.3 trillion, which the government has since abrogated.

Oluchi Omai

Oluchi Omai is a Blogger/ Content Creator, he is a prolific writer and movie maker.

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