The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Calabar Zone, has rejected the Federal Government’s student loan initiative by calling it a potential tool for perpetuating debt and enslaving Nigerian students.

Despite the government’s intention to ensure access to higher education for all, ASUU believed the loan program will have far-reaching negative consequences.

According to Dr Happiness Uduk, Zonal Chairperson of ASUU, the loan scheme is disheartening, especially considering that those who benefited from scholarships and subsidies in the past are now implementing loans for students. ASUU’s National President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, also consistently criticized the loan program, advocating for bursaries instead.

The Union is urging the Federal Government to reconsider its approach and provide subvention to higher institutions, which would have a positive impact on the tertiary education sector.

Also, ASUU is calling for a renegotiation of the agreement reached with the government committee led by Prof Nimi Brigs, to adjust the document according to current economic realities and ensure an acceptable salary structure for university lecturers. Furthermore, ASUU has condemned the unchecked proliferation of universities in Nigeria without adequate funding from both federal and state governments.

The Union is pressing for the full implementation of the 2020 ASUU-FGN Memorandum of Action, which explained the need to review the NUC Act to prevent the excessive establishment of universities.



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