Nigerian Education Loan Fund Gains Traction with Over 60,000 Visitors 

The Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) has garnered significant attention since its launch, with over 60,000 visitors to its website, according to Akintunde Sawyerr, the fund’s Managing Director.

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During a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, Sawyerr highlighted the enthusiastic response to the initiative, which aims to facilitate access to higher education through interest-free loans. He reported that more than 90% of federal educational institutions have already submitted lists of eligible students for the loan scheme, with only two federal universities and two federal polytechnics yet to comply. Sawyerr assured that measures are being taken to ensure full participation across all institutions.

Sawyerr announced plans to extend the loan scheme to students of state universities within the next three weeks, significantly expanding the reach of the program. This move aligns with the government’s commitment to making higher education more accessible to students across Nigeria, regardless of their financial background.

The loan scheme was officially inaugurated following President Bola Tinubu’s signing of the Access to Higher Education Act, 2023, on June 12, 2023. The Act not only aims to assist indigent students but also fulfils a key campaign promise by President Tinubu to liberalize education funding in Nigeria.

The Student Loan Law, under which the scheme operates, facilitates the processing of loan applications, disbursements, and recoveries through NELFUND. Initially set for a launch in September, the scheme experienced delays due to enhancements directed by President Tinubu, including the inclusion of loans for vocational skills to broaden the program’s scope.

Following a comprehensive review by the NELFUND team and the Minister of State for Education, Dr. Yusuf Sununu, the scheme now also supports students interested in acquiring vocational skills alongside traditional academic programs. President Tinubu emphasized the importance of skill acquisition, stating it is as crucial as obtaining formal university education.

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