Student Loan Scheme set for take off with 1.2m beneficiaries

No fewer than 1.2 million young Nigerians will be in the first batch of those to benefit from the Student Loan Scheme of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Administration.

The process of participating in the programme, whose enabling law was signed by President Tinubu on April 3, will commence “anytime soon”, according to Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND’s) Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO), Mr. Akintunde Sawyer.

The ambitious cardinal programme will be funded with one per cent of the total annual collectable revenue by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

This year, the revenue target given to the FIRS is N19.4 trillion.

Should the agency meet this projection, N194 billion will be available as a loan to the beneficiary students.

Repayment, according to the law, will commence two years after the completion of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC).

According to the NELFUND CEO, all is set for the commencement of registration and application by tertiary institution students.

He said: “We don’t expect to have more than 1.2 million students in the first instance.

“As time goes on, there will probably be expansion.

“For the successful applicants, we will be paying their fees – the full amount – directly to the institutions.

“There will also be a stipend paid to the individuals.

“At a regular interval, the beneficiaries will receive an amount of money for their upkeep so that they can do the basic things – feeding, photocopying handouts and data.

“They can use the stipend to ensure that there is enough opportunity for them to survive the experience of being students.

“We all know that students’ survival is on another level.”

On the condition to be met by potential beneficiaries, he said they would be required to provide their Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) numbers, National Identification Number (NIN), and Bank Verification Number (BVN), among other details before they can apply for the loan.

He explained that those who are already students and seek to take the loan would need to, in addition to these conditions, provide their matriculation details.

He restated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s pledge to ensure that as many students as are interested benefit from the scheme.

“Without a doubt, President Tinubu intends to ensure that as many Nigerians as possible get this opportunity.

“That is why he has vigorously pursued this opportunity on behalf of students.

“That is why all of us must join hands to ensure that capacity expansion can happen.

“This is not going to be an elitist programme. It is a programme that is going to drag as many people into the education net as possible.

“That is what the President intends and that is what we are going to do,” he said.

President Tinubu has repeatedly said he intends to ensure that no Nigerian student drops out of tertiary institutions for lack of funds.

The President, while signing the Bill into law, thanked the National Assembly for expeditiously passing it.

The Senate and the House of Representatives passed the bill after only three legislative days.

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