The Nigerian government has spoken about introducing tuition fees after President Bola Tinubu signed the students’ loan bill into law.
Addresing journalists at a press conference in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Andrew Adejo said higher institutions cannot introduce tuition fees because of the introduction of the loan scheme.
He said although the nation’s tertiary institutions are autonomous, they don’t have financial autonomy.
Adejo disclosed that the FG is working towards making sure that higher institutions of learning are financially independent.
Reacting to reports on the introduction of tuition fees, he noted that Federal Government-owned universities lacked the financial autonomy to introduce tuition fees at the moment.
“Government alone cannot foot the bill for education and that is why we are doing public-private partnerships.”
“The universities already have autonomy. The autonomy they are yet to have is financial autonomy. “It is when they get it that they can answer that question (on if the act would introduce tuition fees in public institutions), and the government is working towards that.”
The legislation bill, which is now signed into law, is “an act to provide for easy access to higher education for Nigerians through interest-free loans from the Nigerian Education Bank”. It will enable Nigerian students in higher institutions of learning to have access to financial assistance.
The loan can be accessed for the purpose of paying school fees, accommodation, textbooks, research, education materials, or any other purpose justified by the institutions.