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Why Student Loan Scheme Launch Was Postponed – Presidency

Bayo Onanuga

…Says Tinubu still committed to scheme

The Presidency on Wednesday explained that the Students Loan Scheme slated to be launched on March 14, was put off in order to put final touches on it.

The Presidency also assured that President Bola Tinubu is fully committed to the loan scheme as it would guarantee that indigent students did not drop out of school due to lack of money.

Recall that the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, Akintunde Sawyer, had announced the indefinite postponement of the scheme during an interview with ARISE News on Tuesday.

Fielding questions from State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by President Tinubu at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Mr Bayo Onanuga, stated that final touches are being put in place to enable proper launch of the scheme which he described as the President’s flagship programme.

He assured that a new date would be announced soon.

According to him, “There’ll be a new date to launch the student loan scheme, it’s not forgotten. There are some things that need to be rearranged so that it can be launched properly. I think that’s what’s happening.

“So the President’s committed to it, you know it’s one of his flagship programmes and he wants to get it done as quickly as possible.”

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris on his part, said: “In addition to that, you know that the President has also introduced the issue of social security and consumer credit. We mentioned that in the last press briefing we had.

“So all these are being taken together and Mr. President is not stopping or suspending the students’ loan. Indeed, he’s ensuring that it comes about strongly so that Nigerians and especially the families of the less privileged, take advantage of that so that they can get education.”

On June 12, 2023, President Tinubu had signed the Access to Higher Education Act, 2023 into law to enable indigent students to access interest-free loans for their educational pursuits in any Nigerian tertiary institution.

The Act, popularly known as the Students Loan Law, also established the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, which is expected to handle all loan requests, grants, disbursement, and recovery.

The student loan bill was sponsored by Femi Gbajabiamila, the immediate-past speaker of the House of Representatives who is now chief of staff to the president.

The legislation provides for the establishment of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, which will have the power to administer, supervise, coordinate, and monitor the management of student loans in the country.

Based on the provisions of the legislation, the fund is expected to receive and screen applications for student loans through higher institutions on behalf of the applicants.


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