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Tinubu appoints Jim Ovia, as chairman, Nigerian Education Loan Fund

jim ovia

President Bola Tinubu on Friday, approved the appointment of Jim Ovia, as the Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND).

The appointment is in line with the extant law signed on April 3, 2024, which empowers the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria appoints the Board and Management.

Ovia, a seasoned banker and businessman, is the founder of one of Nigeria’s leading banks and a respected business leader, with a surfeit of efforts and benefaction towards nurturing and empowering young Nigerians.

With this appointment, Ovia will now head a board whose members are drawn from the various ministries, regulatory bodies, and participating agencies, including the Federal Ministries of Finance and Education, the FIRS, NIMC, NUC, NBTE, and NCCE, as well as representatives of universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education, students of tertiary institutions, and the organised private sector.

Read also: Student loan: NELFUND targets 1.2m beneficiaries in first pay-out

The Board will coordinate the activities of a management team led by a Managing Director and it will include Executive Directors responsible for the day-to- day management and operations of the Fund.

It also ensures a Properly defines the resource structure for the Fund by establishing the General Reserve Fund GRF, into which shall be paid 1% of all taxes, levies and duties collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service and accruing to the benefit of the Federal Government of Nigeria; and this shall form the bases from which the Fund shall pay amounts payable as loans to qualified applicants for tuition, fees, charges, and upkeep, as well as the Fund’s operational expenses and such expenditures necessary to attaining the Fund’s objectives and functions.

The Act established the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) to supervise, coordinate, administer and monitor the management of student loans in Nigeria.

The law established the Nigeria Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) as a body corporate that can sue and be sued in its name and with the power to acquire, hold, and dispose of movable and immovable property for the purpose of its functions.

This ensures that the Fund can legally enter contracts, including loan agreements and may also initiate action to ensure repayment by beneficiaries.

The law also empowers the Fund to Provide loans to qualified Nigerians for tuition, fees, charges, and upkeep during their studies in approved tertiary education institutions and vocational and skills acquisition institutions in Nigeria.

The Fund can also build, operate, and maintain a diversified pool of funds to provide loans to qualified applicants and ensure access to higher education, vocational training, and skills acquisition

Ovia who is an alumnus of Harvard Business School, also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Louisiana.

The National Student Loan Programme is a pivotal intervention that seeks to guarantee sustainable higher education and functional skill development for all Nigerian students and youths.

The Nigerian Education Loan Fund, the implementing institution of this innovation, demands excellence and Nigerians of the finest professional ilk to guide and manage.

The President believes Ovia will bring his immense wealth of experience and professional stature to this role to advance the all-important vision of ensuring that no Nigerian student suffers a capricious end to their pursuit of higher education over a lack of funds.

The board will also ensure that Nigerian youths, irrespective of who they are, have access to higher education and skills that will make them productive members of society and core contributors to the knowledge-based global economy of this century.