May 20, 2024

Students loan: State institutions students not immediate beneficiaries – NELFUND


By Joseph Erunke, Abuja

As Students Loan portal opens on May 24, 2024, the Nigeria Education Loan Fund, NELFUND, has disclosed that students of state-owned institutions will not be immediate beneficiaries, saying the scheme would take off with only students of federal government’s tertiary institutions.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Fund, Akintunde Sawyerr, said at a pre-application sensitization press conference, Monday, in Abuja, that only students whose institutions uploaded their data to the fund’s dashboard would be qualified to benefit from the loan.

Besides, Sawyerr said the loan would not be paid to the beneficiary account, explaining that the loan would be paid directly to the schools where the beneficiary students are studying.

He, however, said certain stipends would be paid directly to beneficiaries on monthly basis to assist them buy other things that can make them comfortable while pursuing their education.

He revealed that the NEFUND would soon establish a vocational skills acquisition programme for students who have passion for skills acquisition as part of its mandate.

“We will soon begin a programme for those who want to acquire vocational skills or vocational qualifications. But the first beneficiaries of this loan are students of federal institutions, at all levels. It will be for students of all government institutions going forward,” he said.

He explained that the loanees are expected to repay the loans two years after they secured jobs, either in government private or self-employed.

Sawyerr said the fund would work with security agencies to ensure that students don’t abuse the programme, hinting that those with criminal intentions would be fished out by the security agencies.

He said, “In furtherance of the promulgation of the Students Loan (Access to Higher Education) Act, 2024, duly assented to by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) is pleased to announce the commencement of applications for the highly anticipated Student Loan Program. 

“This initiative, a crucial component of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, is designed to provide financial assistance (obligatory fees and stipends) to needy students, enabling them to pursue their educational goals without the burden of immediate financial constraints.

“The first phase of the application portal for the Student Loan Programme will be officially opened on the 24th of May, 2024, for students in federal institutions such as universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, and technical colleges whose institutions have completed and uploaded their students’ data. 

“The loan application process has been streamlined to ensure easy access for all eligible students in federal tertiary institutions. Prospective applicants can begin their application process effective from the 24th of May, 2024, immediately.”

According to him, “We encourage all students in federal institutions to take advantage of this opportunity to secure the required financial assistance for their education.”

“Applicants must submit their applications as early as possible to ensure timely processing,” he advised.

He said, “NELFUND remains committed to supporting the educational aspirations of young Nigerians.”

“We believe that education is a vital investment for the future we envisage, and this student loan initiative of Mr President’s is a testament to this commitment,” he added.