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Students’ loan ploy to starve public varsities – ASUU FUTA Buhari knocked for economic crisis, EFCC defies order with night raid: Weekly news recap

Lecturers under the auspices of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Federal University of Technology, Akure chapter, has again rejected the proposed students’ loan scheme initiated by President Bola Tinubu.

The lecturers described the scheme as a way to starve public universities of funds.

They argued that if implemented, it would further stifle indigent students.

The Chairman of ASUU, FUTA,  Prof Pius Mogaji, stated this during an award of scholarship to some brilliant and indigent students of the institution on Friday.

Mogaji explained that the proposed scheme would keep students in permanent debt, adding that it would starve public universities of funding from the government.

He said, “For the avoidance of doubt the NEC (National Executive Council) of ASUU reiterated its rejection of the student loan scheme which is being promoted by international money lending agencies such as IMF and World Bank.

“Nigerians should be aware that the scheme 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 NEC further observed that the scheme will mortgage the entire university system and keep our promising students in perpetual indebtedness.”

According to him, if the scheme fails in some better-managed economies of the world, there is no guarantee that it will succeed in Nigeria where unbridled corruption, nepotism, and other unsavoury tendencies conspired to kill the education bank project after years of its existence.

Mogaji said that 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 for greater efficiency.

The ASUU Chairman said that the union’s national leadership had condemned the huge hike in schools, saying that funds diverted from the government’s treasuries should be used to fund universities.

On the scholarship award, the ASUU Chairman explained that it was part of the commemoration of ASUU Heroes’ Day being celebrated on November 12, 2023, in Kaduna State.

He noted that two students of FUTA were picked as beneficiaries for the national scholarship award during the celebration while the FUTA Chapter of ASUU extended the gesture to the addition of six students as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility.

“Hence, as part of our community development service, giving out scholarships to indigent but brilliant is seen by ASUU as our corporate social responsibility towards making education accessible to all.

“Consequently, the Congress of ASUU FUTA at its meeting in November extended these good wills to other six students, N50,000 each, to assist them in completing their education.

“The duo, Ibikunle Stephen Oluwaseun and Gbenga Dauda Otaomokunola will be given N200,000 each while the other six students will be given N50,000 each.
The six students are Ajuola Ebenezer Timilehin, Bamigboye Moronfolu Ayobami, Adetunji Timilehin Emmanuel, Ayoola Taiwo; Akinpelu Victoria and Ajakaye Oluwafunmilayo Rita”, he stated.

Responding on behalf of other beneficiaries, Otaomokunola,  appreciated the gesture, saying that it would spur the beneficiaries to be more serious in their academics, asking all well-to-do individuals and organizations to help students considered to be indigents.

In a related development, on Thursday, the National leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities said the proposed education loan scheme will keep students in permanent debt.

According to a statement on Thursday after its National Executive Council meeting at the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, ASUU said it was surprised by the reports it received on the failed promises of the Bola Tinubu-led administration toward addressing the lingering issues that forced the union to embark on the nationwide strike action of February–October 2022.

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