Students Loan Act: Don Harps On Improved Database For Desirable Results

Professor Evans Osabuohien

A don, Prof. Evans Osabuohien, has advised the Federal Government to improve its database to achieve desirable results from its Students Loan Act.

Osabuohien, who is the Head, of the Department of Economics and Development Studies, at Covenant University, Ota, gave the counsel in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Ota, Ogun.

NAN reports that President Bola Tinubu, had on June 12, signed the students’ loan bill into law, establishing a Nigerian Education Loan Fund, from which interest-free loans would be given to students in the nation’s tertiary institutions.

Osabuohien described the development as well thought-out but noted that it may be poorly implemented due to the paucity of data in the country.

The don noted that putting in place a functional database across the country would help the Federal Government track down defaulters of such loans.

He said that past experience in the country had shown situations where people took such loans and never returned them because the country did not have functional data to track them.

According to him, it will be difficult to track somebody who took a loan in Lagos and moves to Ogun due to a poor database.

“If somebody takes a loan, how do we recover such a loan?

“The federal government needs to work on its database by harmonising all Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), National Identification Numbers (NIN), Driver’s Licences, immigration data and passports to enable it to track any defaulters,” he said.

Osabuohien added that developed countries such as Germany had a functional database to monitor and track every citizen, especially when such citizens are involved in loan default.

He also expressed the need for the government to collaborate with stakeholders, especially the tertiary institutions, so that they could withhold certificates of defaulters until such loans are repaid.

NAN

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