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Student Loans: FG opens Application Portal May 24th

17 May

Reported by Ayooluwa Afolabi

The Federal Government, through the Nigerian Education Loan
Fund, has announced May 24, 2024, as the official date for the student loan
application portal to be opened.



This announcement was made in a statement by, Nasir Ayantogo,
the media lead for the NELFund.



In the statement, Ayantogo said the opening of the portal
marked a major milestone in the commitment of President Tinubu to ‘‘fostering
accessible and inclusive education for all Nigerian students.’’



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



This move was in ‘’fulfillment of one of his campaign
promises to liberalize funding of education,’’ Dele Alake, a member of the then
Presidential Strategy Team said.



The Act, widely known as the Students Loan Law, also formed
the Nigerian Education Loan Fund to process all loan requests, grants,
disbursement, and recovery.



Even though the government initially announced that the
scheme would be launched in September, it concurred several delays leading to
an indefinite postponement in early March.



The delay was linked to a directive by Tinubu to expand the
scheme to include loans for vocational skills.



The President had directed the Fund to extend interest-free loans to Nigerian students interested in skill development programmes, after
receiving a briefing from the NELFund team led by Dr. Yusuf Sununu, the Minister
of State for Education, on January 22.



The President based his decision on the need for the scheme to
accommodate those who may not want to pursue a university education,
emphasizing that skill acquisition is as important as obtaining undergraduate
and graduate academic qualifications.



‘’ This is not an exclusive programme. It is catering to all
of our young people. Young Nigerians are gifted in different areas.



‘’ This is not only for those who want to become doctors,
lawyers, and accountants. It is also for those who aspire to use their skilled
and trained hands to build our nation.



‘’ In accordance with this, I have instructed NELFund to
explore all opportunities to inculcate skill development programmes because not
everybody wants to go through a full university education,’’ he said.



Through the portal, Nigerian students can now access loans to
pursue their academic aspirations without financial hindrance.



The portal provides a user-friendly interface for students
to submit their loan application conveniently, according to the statement.



‘’ We encourage all eligible students to take advantage of
this opportunity to invest in their future and contribute to the growth and
development of our nation.



‘’ Students can access the portal on www.nelf.gov.ng to begin application’’, the
statement said.

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