Students Loan: FG explains delay in take-off, sets new date

The Federal Government has set the month of March for a definite opening of the Nigeria Education Loan Fund, NELFund, portal for eligible students.

Executive Secretary of NELFund, Dr Akintunde Sawyerr, who disclosed this in an interview on Thursday in Abuja, urged eligible students to register to access the fund.

President Bola Tinubu on June 12, 2023, signed the Access to Higher Education Bill into law to enable indigent student access interest-free loan to pursue their education in any Nigerian tertiary institutions.

The scheme was slated to commence between September and October 2023, but because of unforeseen circumstances, there was a revised timeline to January.

Giving reasons for the delay in starting the scheme as earlier scheduled, Sawyerr explained that the process is technically driven and necessary measures needed to be put in place for proper execution.

READ ALSO: FG ready to launch Student Loan Fund – Sawyerr

“The take-off date is this month and the reason for the delay is that we are trying to get it right.

“This is not a political program where we say, oh! we are just going to do it, it doesn’t matter how it works.

“This is a program 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.

Sawyerr reiterated President Tinubu’s commitment to ensure that lack of finance did not constitute a reason for any student in Nigeria to halt education at a tertiary level.

He said the scheme is designed for indigent Nigerian students in tertiary institutions and applications will be done online.

“We have decided that all applicants should be able to access this scheme regardless of where they are, who they are and who they know.

“We want this to be a process that is fair to all and we will advertise the portal widely so that applicants will be able to go to the website to fill series of forms and answer certain questions.

“Based on the data they input and their answers to the questions, the system will be able to determine appropriately, whether they are eligible to apply or not,’’ Sawyerr explained.

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