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Tinubu’s Student Loan: Nigerian Students Speak On Dangers Associated with Scheme Implementation

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Nigerian students under the umbrella of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) have identified potential dangers student loans pose to the education sector in Nigeria. 

The NANS President, Pedro Obi, in his inaugural speech on the occasion of the inauguration and handover ceremony in Abuja, explained that while the loan scheme aims to provide financial support to students, there is a need to also recognise the risks it carries, including the burden of debt on young graduates, the potential for exploitation by unscrupulous elements, and the widening gap in access to quality education. 

Pedro said, “It’s no longer news that President Tinubu has signed the Nigerian Student Loan Scheme into law, even though it was done without the representatives of Nigerian students’ leadership.

“We must proceed with caution, ensuring that any loan program is accompanied by robust regulations and support mechanisms to safeguard the future of our students and the integrity of our education system.

“It must be noted, fundamentally, that this loan scheme shouldn’t be a clog in the wheel of adequate funding of critical infrastructures in our institutions.”

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Speaking further, Pedro said NANS’ struggle is not merely against the abstract forces of oppression but it is a struggle against concrete manifestations of injustice that pervade every aspect of students’ lives.

He continued: “It is a struggle against the privatization of education, which turns learning into a commodity accessible only to the wealthy elite.

“It is a struggle against police brutality, which terrorizes our communities and silences dissent. It is a struggle against corruption, which siphons off the wealth of our nation and leaves millions languishing in poverty.

“In the face of such daunting challenges, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, to succumb to despair, to resign ourselves to the status quo.

“But we are not alone in this struggle. Across the length and breadth of our country, from the bustling streets of Lagos to the remote villages of the Niger Delta, the flames of resistance are burning bright.

“From the student activists who brave tear gas and bullets on the front lines of protests to the ordinary citizens who refuse to be silenced in the face of tyranny, the spirit of revolution is alive and well.

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“And it is this spirit – the spirit of defiance, of solidarity, of hope that will carry us through the darkest of times. It is this spirit that will embolden us to challenge the powerful, to speak truth to power, demand justice for ourselves and for future generations.

“It is this spirit that will inspire us to organize, to mobilize, to build a movement capable of sweeping away the old order and ushering in a new era of freedom and equality.
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“But let us not be naive. The road ahead will be long and arduous, fraught with obstacles and setbacks. Our enemies the ruling class, the imperialists, the corrupt politicians will stop at nothing to crush our movement, to silence our voices, to maintain their grip on power.

“They will use every weapon in their arsenal – from propaganda and repression to co-optation and divide-and-rule tactics – to undermine our struggle.

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“But we will not be deterred. We will not be intimidated. We will not be bought off or sold out. For we know that our cause is just, our struggle is righteous, and our victory is inevitable. 

“We have history on our side – the history of countless revolutions and uprisings that have shaken the foundations of oppressive regimes and paved the way for a better world.

“We have the power of the people the power to mobilize, to organize, to resist. And we have the vision of a society based on the principles of solidarity, equality, and democracy.

“So let us march forward, comrades, with our heads held high and our hearts ablaze with the fire of revolution. Let us stand together, shoulder to shoulder, in defense of our rights, our welfare, and our dignity as human beings.

“Let us be the change we wish to see in the world – the change that will transform Nigeria from a land of poverty and injustice into a land of abundance and freedom for all,” he concluded.

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