Business News

Only Federal Institution Students to Access Loan from May 24

Student Loan Scheme

By Adedapo Adesanya

The management of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) has said only students in federal government-owned tertiary institutions are eligible to apply for the first phase of the student loan.

NELFUND had earlier announced that the portal for the loan would be opened for application on Friday for students seeking financial assistance to pay school fees and stipends.

Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, NELFUND’s Managing Director, Mr Akintunde Sawyyer, said the programme would later extend to state-owned universities.

“We will start with federal institutions because it’s a programme we have to roll out in phases. It will eventually be rolled out to state-owned institutions, and as you will discover, we will also begin a programme on loan provision for those who want to acquire vocational skills or vocational qualifications,” he said.

He said the Fund would pay the school fees in full and directly to the institutions per session.

He said NELFUND would also pay stipends to the beneficiary students, adding that the stipends for students would be paid at intervals and would be capped.

“We’ve got to pay an institutional access fee, which would give the students unfettered access to classes, examinations, tutorials, and seminars within the confines of the institution. But we will also make a monthly payment to the individual who is studying because there’s a recognition that just paying the fees alone may not be sufficient,” he said.

Mr Sawyerr said the tertiary institutions had been asked to upload the data of their students, including the JAMB admission number and institution matriculation numbers, to the NELFUND portal. He said while most of the institutions have provided the data, others have not.

He added that the institution’s failure to provide the data may result in their students missing out of the programme. He said the Fund would not be able to grant them the loan if the institutions do not provide the data.

The NELFUND MD said, “Unfortunately if the institutional data is not there, we can’t give the loan. And so, it is ultimately the applicant that will pay the price.

“The institutions have to partner with us so we can use this information and make the decision. Some institutions have not yet submitted all the data that is required. I will not be doing a naming and shaming exercise here today because it just wouldn’t be fair. Some are making attempts to do that. We are encouraging them to do it quickly.”

The student loan, which is being implemented now, is part of the Higher Education Access Act, assented to by President Bola Tinubu in June 2023. In February, the Act was returned to the National Assembly for a complete overhaul and was passed again and assented to by the President.