First Batch of Student Loan Scheme Beneficiaries Takes Off Soon 

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The ambitious Student Loan Scheme of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Administration, featuring about 1.2 million young Nigerians in the first batch will take off soon, the Managing Director of Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) Akintunde Sawyer has said.

The cardinal programme which was signed on April 3 by President Tinubu will be funded with one per cent of the total annual collectable revenue by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). This means N194 billion of the N19.4 trillion projections for the agency in 2024 will go as a loan to the beneficiaries. Repayment, according to the law, will commence two years after the completion of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC).

The NELFUND CEO according to The Nation said all is set for the commencement of registration and application by tertiary institution students, stating, “We don’t expect to have more than 1.2 million students in the first instance. This may increase with time”.

The government will pay the full amount of fees for the successful applicants directly to the institutions while 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 to 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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