Students of Federal Institutions to First Benefit from Student Loans – FG

May 20, 2024

Ahead of the formal opening of Students’ Loan portal this Friday, the Nigeria Education Loan Fund has said it will commence with students of federal tertiary institutions.

This comes as the Fund said only students whose institutions had uploaded their data on its dashboard would be eligible to apply.

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Fund, Akintunde Sawyerr, stated this on Monday at a Pre-Application Sensitisation Press Conference in Abuja.

He said 1.2 million students from federal government-owned universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, and technical colleges would benefit from the first phase of the scheme.

While calling on students in federal tertiary institutions to visit the website, to apply from May 24, the managing director said students in state universities and vocational skill centres would apply at a later date.

He said the requirements to apply included the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board admission letter, National Identity Number, Bank Verification Number, and a completed application form from its website.

“The loan application process has been streamlined to ensure easy access for all eligible students in federal tertiary institutions.

“Applicants can access online support to assist with any questions or concerns during the application process.

“We believe that education is a vital investment for the future. We envisage that the student loan initiative of Mr. President is a testament to this commitment,” Sawyer said.

One of the key features of the programme, he stressed, was the absence of physical contact between the loan applicant and NELFUND.

According to him, the portal provided a user-friendly interface for students to submit their loan applications conveniently.

Sawyerr encouraged students of federal tertiary institutions to take advantage of this opportunity to secure the required financial assistance for their education, even as he urged applicants to submit their applications as soon as possible to ensure timely processing.

He revealed that in addition to the interest-free loan, applicants would also receive monthly stipends for upkeep.

Sawyerr, however, did not state the amount, saying “That figure will be capped”, adding “We will look very closely at each application and make a decision based on several factors as to what fees will be paid to them.

“The fees for the institution are going to be paid not to the students but to the institution.

“And that will be paid at the maximum of that fee per session. We will only pay for a session at a time. Because people drop out of institutions, they change institutions.”

The NELFUND boss also pointed out that institutions had vital roles to play in providing the fund with data on fees payable by students at the institution, departmental, faculty and other levels.

Sawyerr said the agency was also working with security agencies to ensure that people did not take advantage and defraud the process.

President Bola Tinubu had last month signed the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2024, into law, with a promise that no student would be denied the opportunity to build his future regardless of background.

The Act empowers the Nigeria Education Loan Fund to provide loans to qualified Nigerian students for tuition, fees, charges and upkeep during their studies in approved public tertiary institutions and vocational and skills acquisition establishments in the country.

The new law which repeals the Student Loan Act, 2023, removes the family income threshold so Nigerian students can apply for these loans and accept responsibility for repayment according to the fund’s guidelines.