By Enyichukwu Enemanna
The umbrella body of Nigeria’s public university lecturers, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on the government to replace the proposed students’ loan with grants, citing the psychological trauma on beneficiaries.
The Bauchi zone of the union insists that grants remain the most credible and available option for Nigerian students to fund their education instead of loan, proposed to take effect Jan. 2024.
“The question is: Who will pay the loan? What is the fate of those who cannot access it? The psychological trauma the students will be subjected to due to the loan while still in their studies will affect their performances negatively.
“The thought that they would graduate with a loan of N4million and above without the capacity to pay back is another psychological torture on them”, the Bauchi zonal coordinator of ASUU, Associate Professor Lazarus Maigoro said on Saturday at the occasion of the award of scholarships to 19 indigent university undergraduates in the zone at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi.
The union is working on getting the statistics of students who may likely drop out of school at the end of the current session, with the hope of making the government review its decision on the issue of the loans and replace it with grants, Maigoro revealed.
In his remarks, the ATBU branch chairperson, Comrade Ibrahim Inuwa, while giving assurance that ASUU would continue to act as a socially responsible union by fighting for the collective interest of quality tertiary education said the annual scholarship award would always identify brilliant but indigent students for recognition and award.
In their responses, some of the beneficiaries while expressing gratitude to the union said the scholarship has saved them from dropping out of school.