July 20, 2024

President Bola Tinubu has given the green light for the commencement of a N35 billion loan scheme aimed at supporting Nigerian students in higher institutions in the country.

According to sources within the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), 70,000 applications have already been approved for disbursement, with an additional 50,000 currently under evaluation and set to be approved within the next 30 days.

Managing Director and CEO of NELFUND, Akintunde Sawyerr, highlighted that the funds will be disbursed in alignment with the academic calendars of participating institutions.

“The portal for student applications opened on May 24, 2024, and will remain open indefinitely due to varying academic schedules,” Sawyerr added.

The initiative, a cornerstone of the Tinubu administration, aims to benefit approximately 1.2 million students nationwide. Eligible applicants must provide their Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) letter, National Identification Number (NIN), and Bank Verification Number (BVN).

Federal government-owned tertiary institutions will be the first to receive funding under the scheme, with state-owned institutions following suit from June 25, 2024.

The loans, equivalent to tuition fees, will be disbursed directly to institutions, while stipends will be provided monthly to students for additional expenses.

“This initiative underscores President Tinubu’s commitment to ensuring no student drops out due to financial constraints,” a spokesperson stated. Repayment, as per the law signed by President Tinubu on April 3, will commence two years after the completion of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.

Funding for the ambitious scheme will derive from one percent of the annual revenue collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), further solidifying its long-term sustainability.

The student loan scheme marks a significant stride towards enhancing access to quality education for Nigerian youth, reflecting President Tinubu’s dedication to fostering educational advancement nationwide.

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