State Varsity Students Now Eligible For Students’ Loan Scheme – FG

The Nigerian education loan fund (NELFUND) said it has had over 9.5 million visits it’s website, with over 60,000 applications for loans from students in federal institutions since it opened it’s website last week Friday.

Briefing the press in Abuja yesterday, the Funds Managing Director, Akintunde Sawyerr said that over 90 percent of federal tertiary institutions have submitted the data of their students with about five institutions remaining.

He also revealed that in three weeks, the fund will be extended to students at state-owned tertiary institutions to apply for the loan.

Sawyerr urged the authorities of the state tertiary institutions, to begin to submit the data of its students to ensure that the process is seamless.

On June 12, 2023, President Bola Tinubu signed the Access to Higher Education Act, 2023 into law to enable indigent students to access interest-free loans for their educational pursuits in any Nigerian tertiary institution.

See also  Abia CP holds strategic meeting with officers

The move was in “fulfilment of one of his campaign promises to liberalise funding of education,” a member of the then Presidential Strategy Team, Dele Alake, said.

The Act, popularly known as the Students Loan Law, also established the Nigerian Education Loan Fund to process all loan requests, grants, disbursement, and recovery.

Although the government initially announced that the scheme would be launched in September, it suffered several delays leading to an indefinite postponement in early March.

The Presidency had linked the delay to Tinubu’s directive to expand the scheme to include loans for vocational skills.

See also  Gov Otti Criminalizes Non-Enrollment Of School-Age Children In Abia State

After receiving a briefing from the NELFUND team led by the Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu, on January 22, the president directed the Fund to extend interest-free loans to Nigerian students interested in skill-development programmes.

Tinubu emphasized on the importance of including those who may not want to pursue a university education, noting that skill acquisition is as essential as obtaining undergraduate and graduate academic qualifications.

“This is not an exclusive programme. It is catering to all of our young people. Young Nigerians are gifted in different areas.

“This is not only for those who want to be doctors, lawyers, and accountants. It is also for those who aspire to use their skilled and trained hands to build our nation.

See also  Abia Govt Defends Stance On Workers Verification Amid NLC Criticism

“In accordance with this, I have instructed NELFUND to explore all opportunities to inculcate skill-development programmes because not everybody wants to go through a full university education,” he had said.

By Sophina Ovuike, Abuja