• Friday, April 19, 2024
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FG sets new date for students loan take off, gives reason for delay


The federal government has stated that the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFund) portal for eligible students will take off in March.

Akintunde Sawyer, the executive secretary of NELFund, disclosed this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.

Recall that the Access to Higher Education Bill was signed into law by President Bola Tinubu on June 12, 2023, to enable indigent students to access interest-free loans to pursue their education in any tertiary institution in Nigeria.

The programme, which was slated to take off between September and October 2023, was rescheduled for January 2024, due to unforeseen circumstances. The scheme was again postponed in January.

Stating the reason for the delay, Sawyer explained that the process is technically driven and necessary measures needed to be put in place for proper execution.

“The take-off date is this month (March) and the reason for the delay is that we are trying to get it right.
“This is not a political programme where we say, oh! we are just going to do it, it doesn’t matter how it works.
“This is a programme that will probably run beyond me as a human being, not even as a Secretary. This is something that we want to run adequately, so we have to get it right,’’ he said.

The executive secretary echoed President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to ensure indigent students have access to higher education, adding that the application will be done online.

Sawyer noted that the recovery process from beneficiaries of the NELFund would commence two years after the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).