Mr. Joseph Babatunde, a former General Manager at the Bank of Industry (BoI), has urged President Bola Tinubu to appoint technocrats to effectively manage the student loan program. While acknowledging the necessity of involving politicians in the program, Babatunde emphasized the importance of considering individuals with the required expertise and a strong track record.
The student loan initiative, set to launch in September, aims to provide interest-free loans to financially disadvantaged students in private and public educational institutions.
In addition to Babatunde’s recommendation, political analyst Mr. Ezenwa Nwagwu advised the President to consider appointing politicians who are also technocrats. Nwagwu, who serves as the Chairman of Partner for Electoral Reform and a board member of Yiaga Africa, emphasized the need to consider individuals who played a role in the President’s emergence. However, he also highlighted the Senate’s responsibility to assess their competence during the screening process.
Nwagwu stated, “The debate surrounding technocrats is unnecessary; there are politicians who possess technical expertise. Some individuals claim to be technocrats when they do not contribute to the struggle for power initiated by others. Democracy should not exclude anyone. Those who actively supported the President’s election should be appointed, as ministerial positions are political, not technical. The appointing authority should prioritize the principles of federal character and their desired direction for the government.”
He clarified, “I am not suggesting the appointment of unqualified individuals, but rather qualified politicians who possess distinct advantages.”