June 12, 2024

Student loan: Successful applicants to get approvals in three weeks  — FG

Breaking: State institutions to benefit from student loan scheme — FG 

By Adesina Wahab, Lagos

The over 100,000 students that have successfully applied for loans under the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, NELFUND, will have to wait for about three weeks to get approvals for their loans, it was gathered.

Also, no loan has been disbursed as at now.

Speaking in a chat with Vanguard, the spokesman of NELFUND, Mr Nasir Ayiyogo, said the application process has been going on smoothly.

“The applications are still ongoing smoothly. No loan has been disbursed yet. Applicants will start getting approvals for their loans in less than three weeks.

“The amount will be determined by charges of each institution and NELFUND will cover 100 percent of it, ” he said.

Earlier, the Managing Director of NELFUND, Mr Akintunde Sawyerr, while giving an update on the scheme, said those whose applications were successful would undergo approval evaluation.

“Sixty thousand are those who have registered on the platform. About 30,000 have successfully applied for the loan but that does not mean the 30,000 have been approved. Up until this point, nobody has been given the loan. Now is the time for evaluation.

“The overwhelming response serves as a testament to the critical need for financial assistance among our student population, and we remain committed to addressing this urgent demand,” he said.

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.

The applications so far taken were only from students in federal tertiary institutions, as their colleagues in state-owned ones will start to apply from the 25th of this month, according to Sawyerr.

Students in private institutions are exempted from the scheme, at least for now.

However, the rush to apply has been described as a reflection of the state of the nation’s economy by parents who also faulted the refusal of the government to get their input before launching the scheme.

Speaking on the development, the National President, National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria, NAPTAN, Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, said, “The rush to apply for the loan is an indication of the poor state of the economy. Also, it may show desperation on the part of some applicants.

Many parents are finding it difficult to pay the tuition fees of their wards. Many parents have lost their jobs and many are under-employed.

“Some students are even the ones sponsoring their studies. My advice to the applicants, when they are given the loan is that they must use it judiciously.

“Those that are into petty trading or businesses from which they earn some money, should continue and not relax. The cost of living keeps increasing daily and there is no amount that an average parent can give that is going to be enough to keep the students going.

“However, as parents, we are still surprised that the government did not find us as critical stakeholders in the sector and seek our views and contributions before the bill was passed into law. If there is any issue with any student regarding the loan, won’t they contact the parents? It is late now to seek our view, they have started it already.”

Meanwhile, NELFUND will soon commence a comprehensive skills acquisition scheme in various vocational and technical fields.

The start of the skills acquisition programme has been slated for the last quarter of the year.
Initially, the scheme was not designed to include supporting artisans, but President Bola Tinubu ordered their inclusion so as to equip youths with practical market-relevant skills.