In the 2023 supplemental budget, the Federal Government has proposed allocating N5.5 billion for the education loan fund and N5.095 billion for the purchase of a presidential yacht through the Nigeria Navy’s capital expenditure program.
This is contained in the 2023 supplementary appropriation details of MDA spending.
The document disclosed that the Nigerian Navy proposed a capital expenditure of 42.3 billion and a recurrent expenditure of N20.42 billion making a budget of around N62.8 billion.
Other items in the budget proposal from the Nigerian Navy include; the purchase of vehicles, construction of the naval base in Lekki and Epe, provision of critical equipment and purchase of ammunition.
In order to pay for the student loan, the Federal Government also suggested an education loan in the amount of N5.5 billion under the capital supplementation for the 2023 supplemental budget. For the 2023 supplemental budget, a total of N210.5 billion is allocated for capital supplementation.
Recall that President Bola Tinubu signed the Access to Education Act, also known as the Student Loan Act, into law in June. It was sponsored by Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and passed by the ninth NASS.
The goal of the law is to end the ongoing labor disputes that plague the nation’s higher education institutions and to offer interest-free loans to students at all of them.
In a recent speech at the Nigeria Economic Summit, President Tinubu stated that the student loan program “must begin in January 2024” after initial delays.
Nigerian higher institutions have been plagued by recurring industrial actions from staff unions, ASUU, ASUP, etc. Major reasons for the actions range from lack of funding and autonomy of tertiary institutions.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities’ industrial action in 2022 cost Nigerian universities about eight months’ worth of instruction.
The University staff union also started a nine-month strike in 2020 to further emphasize their demands to the government.