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Reps move to establish education bank for indigent students

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Speaker House of Representatives , Yakubu Dogara (right) being congratulated by his challenger ,Femi Gbajabiamila during the inauguration of the 8th National Assembly in Abuja PHOTO: Ladidi Lucy Elukpo.

Speaker House of Representatives , Yakubu Dogara (right) being congratulated by his challenger ,Femi Gbajabiamila during the inauguration of the 8th National Assembly in Abuja PHOTO: Ladidi Lucy Elukpo.

The House of Representatives has mulled establishment of an Education Bank to cater for indigent students across the federation.House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, made the disclosure yesterday during an interactive session with 161 students of Nigerian universities at National Assembly complex in Abuja.

However, the House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara who chaired the event, has canvassed for a reform of the educational sector to improve the quality and skill of available manpower as well as ensure self-employment.

Gbajabiamila, who spoke while responding to a question from one of the students at the event, disclosed that a bill aimed at achieving the objective would soon be reintroduced on the floor of the lower legislative chamber for deliberation.

Recalling that the bill was at the second reading stage before the termination of the Seventh Assembly, Gbajabiamila noted that the entire members of the National Assembly would surely be predisposed to the passage of the legislation since it would relieve them of the burden of picking up the bills of indigent students yearning for tertiary education in their respective constituencies.

At the occasion organised by the National Institute of Legislative Studies (NILS), the lawmaker who is the main sponsor of the piece of legislation, remarked that the loans to be accessed by the students would be interest-free and could only be repaid in piecemeal when they are duly employed.

“The bill captures the need to establish an Education Bank. What motivated us to push for the passage of the bill is that we all get inundated with several requests for payment of school fees by students who cannot afford it. There is a limit to what we can do on the issue.

“We realised that so many students out there lose their admission because they don’t have the wherewithal to pay their school fees. We felt the state should be able to assist these students. Education is a right and not a privilege. It is our duty to make it available to everybody. When we set up the education bank, it would give loans to keep these students in school. The loan would attract zero interest.
“The students would only repay the principal interest when they get jobs. We are not happy that there are young men and women out there who are gifted but are unable to pay school fees. Every lawmaker understands this and we would make sure the bill is passed into law,” he added.


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