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Obasanjo calls for inclusion of private university students in loan scheme

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has advocated strongly for the expansion of the federal government’s Student Loan scheme to include students from private universities.

He said this in an address at the inauguration ceremony of the Asiwaju Onafowokan Coleman Wires and Cables building at Bells University’s College of Postgraduate Studies in Ota, Ogun State.

Obasanjo, who is also the proprietor of Bells University of Technology, emphasized the importance of equal opportunities for all students, irrespective of their university affiliation.

During his speech, Obasanjo highlighted the necessity of extending the loan scheme to cover students in private institutions, noting that excluding them would be counterproductive to societal development and citizen welfare.

He urged the government to heed the calls for inclusivity made by stakeholders in the private university sector.

“The Vice-Chancellor has spoken about the need to include students in private universities as beneficiaries of the Student Loan Scheme. I urge the government to listen to that and take heed to include them too,” stated Obasanjo, addressing the gathering.

He also expressed concerns about potential corruption in the implementation of the scheme but stressed the fundamental importance of providing financial aid to all deserving students.

This call for inclusivity was in alignment with Jeremiah Ojediran, the vice-chancellor of Bell University of Technology, who criticized the exclusion of private university students from initiatives such as the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and the recent student loan scheme.

Ojediran argued that such decisions were out of touch with societal realities and the expectations of the people, especially considering the economic challenges faced by many families in the country.

“Many parents struggle to keep their children enrolled in schools, whether public or private, due to the economic downturn in the country,” remarked Prof. Ojediran, emphasizing the need for fair and equitable access to educational support programs.

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