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National Assembly passes students loan bill

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Nigerian students in higher institutions of learning stand to gain more access to financial assistance as the two chambers of the National Assembly passed the Students Loan Bill.

The draft legislation sponsored by the speaker of the house of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, has the title ‘A Bill for an Act to provide for easy access to higher education for Nigerians through interest-free loans from the Nigerian Education Bank established in this Act with a view to providing education for all Nigerians and for other purposes connected thereto.’

The House had passed the bill earlier this year and forwarded it to the Senate for concurrence, which also passed the bill.

With the Senate’s concurrence on the Bill, a clean copy will be produced and transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

Once it is signed into law, Nigerian students could begin accessing the loans.

The Bill seeks the establishment of the Nigerian Education Bank, which shall have powers to supervise, coordinate, administer, and monitor the management of student loans in Nigeria and receive applications for students loan through higher institutions in Nigeria on behalf of the applicants, screen the applications to ensure that all requirements for the grant of students’ loan under the Act are satisfied.

The bank shall also have the powers to approve and disburse the loan to qualified applicants; control and monitor and coordinate the students’ loan account/fund and ensure compliance in respect of disbursement; monitor academic records of grantees of the loan to obtain information on their year of graduation, national service, employment to ensure that grantees of the loan commence repayment of the loan as at when due, among other functions.

The Bill provides that notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in other enactments, all students seeking higher education in any public institution of higher learning in Nigeria shall have an equal right to access the loan under this Act without any discrimination arising from gender, religion, tribe, position or disability of any kind.

“The loan referred to in this Act shall be granted to students only for the payment of Tuition fees. The grant of the loan to any student under this Act shall be subject to the students/applicant(s) satisfying the requirements and conditions set out under this Act.”

Gbajabiamila had argued in the Bill that the hardship being faced by the unemployed and low-income earners coupled with the very high cost of living in Nigeria over the years has made access to quality higher education difficult, stressful and in some cases impossible.

He also noted that a well-educated citizenry is critical to National development and the Nation’s ability to compete in the Global Economy, arguing that higher education should be regarded as a public good benefiting the entire country rather than a commodity solely benefiting the individual recipients.

Education

Guinness World Record: Hilda Baci reacts as Irish chef breaks her record

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Nigerian celebrity chef Hilda Bassey has responded to the news of Irish chef Alan Fisher, who is based in Japan, breaking two Guinness World Records for the longest individual cooking marathon. Alan Fisher, an Irish restaurant owner and chef, set these records on Monday.

Fisher achieved a remarkable feat by cooking continuously for 119 hours and 57 minutes, surpassing the previous record held by Nigerian chef Hilda Baci, who had cooked for 93 hours and 11 minutes earlier this year. In addition to this, he also broke the record for the longest baking marathon, where he baked for 47 hours and 21 minutes, surpassing the previous record of 31 hours and 16 minutes.

In response to these accomplishments, Hilda Baci took to her social media page to extend her congratulations. She wrote, “Huge congratulations to Alan Fisher! Achieving 119 hours and 57 minutes is a remarkable accomplishment, and I wish him all the best as the new world record holder.”

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Education

Step-by-Step Guide To Apply For Canada’s 2024-2026 Immigration Levels Plan

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The Canadian government has released a new plan for how many immigrants it will allow into the country over the next four years. The plan aims to welcome over 465,000 immigrants in 2023, 485,000 in 2024, and 500,000 in each of 2025 and 2026.

The plan also includes targets for different categories of immigrants. For example, the government plans to sponsor 82,000 spouses, partners, and children in 2024, and 84,000 in each of 2025 and 2026. It also plans to sponsor 32,000 parents and grandparents in 2024, and 34,000 in each of 2025 and 2026.

The government will also admit a certain number of immigrants under its federal high-skilled program and caregiver program. In 2024, the government plans to admit 110,770 immigrants under these programs, and 117,500 in each of 2025 and 2026.

To apply for immigration to Canada, potential immigrants must first find out if they are eligible for one of the Express Entry programs. They can do this by answering a few questions on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

If they are eligible, they can submit their profile to the Express Entry pool. Their profile will be ranked using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The candidates with the highest CRS scores will receive invitations to apply for permanent residence.

If you are invited to apply for permanent residence, you will have 60 days to submit your application. You will need to provide documentation such as your passport, language test results, proof of education, proof of funds, police certificates, medical exams, and birth certificates.

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Education

Detention: Naira Marley, Sam Larry sue magistrate, police, demand N40m

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Nigerian musician Naira Marley, whose real name is Abdulazeez Fashola, and his associate Samson Eletu, also known as Sam Larry, have taken legal action against Lagos State Magistrate Adeola Olatunbosun and the police. They have initiated a fundamental rights lawsuit in the Federal High Court in Lagos in order to contest their prolonged detention regarding the death of singer Ilerioluwa Aloba, better known as Mohbad.

In this lawsuit, Sam Larry and Naira Marley are seeking damages of N20 million each from the defendants. Represented by their lawyer, Olalekan Ojo (SAN), they are asking the court to declare that their ongoing detention at the Homicide Section of the Lagos State Police Command, Panti, since October 4, 2023, constitutes a violation of their rights.

The affidavits submitted along with their legal actions state that their problems began between October 3 and 4, 2023, when they were apprehended by the police on suspicion of their involvement in the death of Ilerioluwa Aloba, also known as Mohbad. On October 4, 2023, the Commissioner of Police sought a court order from the Magistrates’ Court in Yaba to detain them for 30 days.

Chief Magistrate Adeola Olatunbosun granted the police’s request, allowing them to be held for a period of 21 days in police custody. This 21-day detention order, granted by Chief Magistrate Olatunbosun, expired on October 26, 2023, and has not been extended.

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