A bill seeking to make Federal Government to provide student loans for Nigerian undergraduates to pursue their tertiary education passed second reading at the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Speaking on the bill, its sponsor, Femi Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos), said that it was intended to provide students with easy access to funds for higher education.
Gbajabiamila said that a great population of Nigerian students would be enrolled for higher education if the bill scaled was successful. He, therefore, canvassed for the establishment of Nigerian Education Bank.
Gbajabiamila also advocated that the loans should be interest-free, saying “Nigeria is blessed with abundant natural resources to tap from and encourage quality education for future generations’’.
According to him, education is a right and not a privilege for Nigerians. Students’ loans speak volume if a lasting legacy is to be bequeathed to future generations.
Contributing, Rep. Nnanna Igbokwe (PDP-Imo) said that passage of the bill would provide more opportunities for Nigerian students who were financially incapacitated to further their studies.
“More opportunities would be given to young Nigerians who are intelligent but are having financial constraints to continue with their education,’’ Igbokwe said.
The lawmakers unanimously endorsed the passage of the bill for the second reading through a voice vote. In his remarks, Speaker of the House, Mr Yakubu Dogara, commended members for their contributions and referred the bill to the Committee on Tertiary Education and Services for further legislative actions.