The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said that the Student Loan Bill signed into law by President Bola Tinubu might hurt millions of prospective students whose only hope is on tuition-free higher institutions of learning to acquire knowledge.
ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, noted this during an interview with journalists.
Goldennewsng reports that President Tinubu signed the bill into law on Monday in fulfillment of one of his campaign promises.
While some Nigerians have hailed the leader for keeping to his words, some have criticized it.
Interacting with Daily Trust over the bill, Osodeke said it will be counterproductive that tuition fees be introduced in a country where more than 133 million are living below the poverty line.
Every Nigerian should know what is going to happen next and there may likely be another bill waiting for signature that will introduce tuition fees. If the bill indicated that the loan is to pay tuition fees and there are no tuition fees in Nigerian universities, then what is your next approach?” ASUU president said.
He noted that the bill is not new, revealing how the union rejected it when former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration brought it up. Osodeke, however, noted that the union is yet to have access to the accurate copy of the law signed by Tinubu, adding that there was a need to get and study it.
He said: “We have said long ago, in 2017, to President Buhari when they came up with the issue of tuition fees, that every student will pay N1 million and we said you cannot put that in our agreement and you cannot use that to negotiate with us and with the nature of the country we have today, there is no way that will work.”
What will happen is that the majority of students whose parents cannot afford it will pull out of school in anger and you know what that means? They will fight society back. But let us get the correct information first before knowing the next steps.”