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FG Shifts Commencement Date For Student Loan Scheme

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The Federal Government has rescheduled the commencement of the student loan program to March 1, 2024, after failing to meet the February 26, 2024, kick-off date it initially fixed.

BusinessDay reports that sources in the presidency disclosed that the shift in the kick-off date for the scheme was because of the process of expanding the scheme to accommodate students of vocational schools was yet to be concluded.

The new launch date is the fourth set by the authorities since the much-anticipated initiative was unveiled in the middle of last year.

The Students Loan Fund (SLF) bill, which established interest-free loans for Nigerians pursuing higher education, was signed into law by President Bola Tinubu in June 2023.

The former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, was the bill’s sponsor. Originally, the measure was scheduled to begin in September or October of 2023.

However, President Tinubu declared that the program will start in January 2024 after his administration missed the deadline in October of the previous year.

Speaking to reporters during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in January, the Minister of State for Education, Yusuf Sununu, confirmed that all necessary arrangements had been made for the scheme to launch, including the completion of technical plans to enable the website for the Student Loan scheme.

Naija  News recalls that Tinubu had previously informed the leaders of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) that the scheme would begin once its enlargement to include additional aspects such as vocational studies was completed.