Home » ASUU Rejects Student Loan Scheme, Calls It a Trap

ASUU Rejects Student Loan Scheme, Calls It a Trap

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has condemned the proposed student loan scheme, saying it will keep students in debt

by Victor Adetimilehin

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has slammed the federal government’s plan to introduce a student loan scheme, saying it will keep students in perpetual debt and divert public funds to private universities.

The union made this position known in a statement on Thursday after its National Executive Council meeting at the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State.

ASUU said the student loan scheme, which is being promoted by international money lending agencies such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, is a way of starving public universities of funding and a ploy to divert public funds into private universities owned by politically exposed individuals and their friends.

The union also said the scheme will mortgage the entire university system and keep promising students in perpetual indebtedness.

ASUU’s alternative to student loan scheme

ASUU suggested that if the state and federal governments truly wished to invest in the lives of Nigerian students, grants and scholarships should be made available to students while the Needs-Based Budgeting System should be restored to the university system for greater efficiency.

The union said the Needs-Based Budgeting System, which was agreed upon in 2013, would have provided N1.3 trillion over a period of six years to revitalize public universities and make them competitive and attractive to students.

However, the union lamented that the federal government has reneged on its promises and has failed to implement the agreement, leading to recurrent strikes and crises in the university system.

ASUU also condemned the wave of fee hike across campuses, saying it is unjust and unfair to students and parents who are already facing economic hardship.

The union said the government should use the resources available to the country to fund public education and not allow corruption, nepotism, and other unsavory tendencies to undermine the future of Nigerian youths.

ASUU’s call for action

ASUU called on the government to urgently initiate moves to conduct another needs assessment exercise to empirically verify the union’s call for massive intervention in public universities.

The union also urged the government to respect the Memorandum of Action it signed with ASUU in December 2022 and address the outstanding issues such as payment of earned academic allowances, removal from the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, revitalization funds, withheld salaries, and renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement.

The union said it will not relent in its struggle to defend the autonomy and sanctity of the university system and to ensure quality and affordable education for all Nigerians.

ASUU’s hope for the future

ASUU expressed its solidarity with the Nigerian students and parents who are bearing the brunt of the government’s neglect and mismanagement of the education sector.

The union said it believes that a better future is possible for Nigeria if the government and the people work together to prioritize education and human development.

The union said it hopes that the government will listen to the voice of reason and dialogue with ASUU to resolve the lingering issues and restore normalcy and stability to the university system.

Source: Punch


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