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FG Explains Delay In Students Loan Take Off, Sets New Take Off Date




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The Federal Government has set March as the definite opening month for the Nigeria Education Loan Fund (NELFund) portal for eligible students.

Naija News learnt that the Execute Secretary of NELFund, Akintunde Sawyerr, made the disclosure in an interview with Journalists in Abuja on Thursday and urged eligible students to register to access the fund.

Recall that on June 12, 2023, President Bola Tinubu signed the Access to Higher Education Bill into law to enable indigent students to access interest-free loans to pursue their education in any Nigerian tertiary institution.

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

In the interview on Thursday, Sawyerr explained that the delay in starting the scheme earlier than scheduled was because the process is technically driven, and necessary measures need to be put in place for proper execution.

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

According to him, the scheme was designed for indigent Nigerian students in tertiary institutions, and applications would be made online to ensure a fair process.

He said, “The take-off date is this month (March), and the reason for the delay is that we are trying to get it right.

“This is not a political programme where we say, We are just going to do it; it doesn’t matter how it works.

“This is a programme 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.

“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 out a 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.’’

Rachel Okporu is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist with years of experience in the industry. She is a graduate of Linguistics and Communication Studies. Likes surfing the Internet and making new friends.