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Student Loan: ‘Every Eligible Student Is Equal, No Godfather Needed’ — NELFUND




NELFUND Expands Access To FG Student Loan Scheme

The management of Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), has reassured the public that every eligible Nigerian student will be able to benefit from the interest-free loan program without requiring a “godfather.”

In a statement, the Executive Director of Finance and Administration at NELFUND, Dr. Fred Femi Akinfala, emphasized the management’s dedication to establishing an open, fair, and transparent application process.

Akinfala expressed confidence that by the completion of President Bola Tinubu’s constitutionally allowed tenures in 2031, the student loan initiative administered by the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) would rank among his most celebrated achievements.

He highlighted that the student loan initiative by NELFUND aims to facilitate students’ access to education by removing financial barriers, aligning with President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda.

Akinfala emphasized the commitment to an open, fair, and transparent application process, ensuring no manipulation by officials, thus fostering increased student retention and skilled talents in the economy.

He said: “It must be stressed at this point that every eligible student is equal, and no one needs to have a ‘godfather’ or unique connections in society to access the loan.

“Instead, what is essential is for an applicant to meet the laid-down criteria. These are ensuring, as an applicant, that you are enrolled in a Federal or State tertiary institution, and possess a letter of admission from the statutory Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, a Biometric Verification Number (BVN) and a National Identification Number (NIN).

“The simplification of the loan process and its accessibility to the public are to clear ambiguity or a perception of bias in selecting successful applications.

“As a fact, it is not for nothing that the NELFUND’s management has taken steps to foster public trust, inclusion, and sustainable reputational capital. It is also worth noting that the agency has instituted solid corporate governance, supported and overseen by its equally dedicated governing board led by respected banker and Zenith Bank Plc founder, Mr Jim Ovia.

“In the same vein, the management, led by its managing director, Mr Akintunde Sawyerr, has declared zero tolerance for corruption and corrupt practices within and outside the agency.

“For Sawyerr, pilfering funds meant to empower students is egregious and an unpardonable sin. He once related an intriguing story to me about some burglars in the United Kingdom who seemed to make it a rule among them not to take anything belonging to children.”

Akinfala further noted that NELFUND has collected data of current students from federal universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, and technical colleges, with a similar process set to begin for state-owned tertiary institutions starting on June 28.