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Sterling Bank revolutionises education funding with N15bn loans programme

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Sterling Bank has revolutionised education funding in Nigeria with its groundbreaking N15 billion education loans programmes.

Leadership reported that the financial institution shared practical and scalable solutions during a media roundtable event held in Lagos.

According to the report, the focus was on creating value that attracts significant investments in Nigeria’s education sector.

During the conference, Obinna Ukachukwu, the divisional head for Growth at Sterling Bank, emphasized the importance of ensuring that the productivity output of skilled labor from an education program surpasses the funding input over time in order to make proper investments in the education sector.

He highlighted that underfunding a sector meant to drive skill acquisition and economic productivity results in suboptimal skill development, causing a ripple effect across all sectors.

Ukachukwu emphasised that guaranteeing the future of a community and nation requires educating the population in courses that lead to the acquisition of specific skills that drive productivity and solve real societal problems, rather than merely focusing on certificates.

He stated that education should be approached in a manner that ensures it pays for itself, as exemplified by leading institutions in the world’s top economies. Graduates from these institutions create value far beyond what their systems have produced, leading to endowments that fund the institutions and systems.

He maintained that the focus should extend beyond graduates and certificates to economic output.

Ukachukwu said, “The moment you begin to underfund a sector that is supposed to drive skill acquisition that impacts economic productivity and development, the outcome of that underfunding will be sub-optimal skill development and as a result, one would create a productivity deficit that will ripple across every other sector.”

He, however, stated that, “If you want to guarantee the future of a community and nation at large, you have to educate your population in courses that lead to specific acquisition of skills that drive productivity and that are geared to endeavors that solve actual problems in the society, and not just the issuance of certificates.

“If you want education to work, you need to approach it in a way that ensures the education pays for itself. This is what the top institutions in the world’s top economies are doing – graduates of these institutions are creating value far greater than the systems that have produced them, and it is from the value created that endowments are created to fund the institutions and systems. The focus should be on the outcome of education beyond graduates and certificates, but economic output.”

Sterling Bank is proud to have one of the largest lending portfolios to students in Nigeria, with over N15 billion in financing dedicated to the education value chain.

This includes novel student loan offerings and training programs aimed at upskilling educators to meet the industry’s diverse needs.

The bank’s approach revolves around innovation, partnerships, and investments that generate sustainable value for individuals, communities, and the nation.

Ukachukwu specifically mentioned Sterling Bank’s successful partnership with Decagon, which has financed the training of over six hundred market-ready software engineers in less than two years.

He reiterated that Sterling Bank actively develops solutions and partnerships to bridge the funding gap for students and educators.

Their programmes aim to produce graduates with skills that are in high demand in the industry, creating value for both businesses and individuals.

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