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Nigeria’s student loan scheme ready for launch, targets 1.2m beneficiaries

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Nigeria’s eagerly anticipated student loan scheme echeme, championed by the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Administration, is poised for its inaugural phase with a groundbreaking target of aiding 1.2 million young Nigerians in pursuit of higher education.

The long-awaited initiative, under the aegis of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), is set to kick off “anytime soon,” as confirmed by Akintunde Sawyer, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NELFUND.

Funding for this ambitious endeavor will be derived from one percent of the Federal Inland Revenue Service’s (FIRS) annual collectible revenue. This year, with a revenue target of N19.4 trillion assigned to the FIRS, a substantial N194 billion could potentially be allocated for student loans.

The repayment process is designed to commence two years following the completion of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), ensuring that beneficiaries have a grace period to establish their careers before repayment obligations commence.

Sawyer outlined the imminent commencement of registration and application processes for tertiary institution students, emphasizing that the first batch is expected to encompass up to 1.2 million beneficiaries, with future prospects for expansion.

Successful applicants will receive full tuition payments directly disbursed to their institutions, accompanied by stipends to cover living expenses. The provision of these funds aims to alleviate financial burdens and facilitate a conducive academic environment.

Applicants must meet specific criteria, including the submission of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) numbers, National Identification Numbers (NIN), and Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), alongside other requisite details. Current students seeking loan assistance must additionally provide matriculation information.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment to inclusivity and accessibility in education underscores the scheme’s ethos. He envisions an educational landscape where no deserving student is left behind due to financial constraints.

Expressing gratitude to the National Assembly for swift bill passage, President Tinubu reaffirmed his determination to revolutionize educational financing and foster equitable access to higher learning.

The student loan scheme promises to redefine educational opportunities in Nigeria, signaling a significant stride towards a more accessible and inclusive tertiary education system under the Tinubu administration’s visionary leadership.

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