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Student Loan: 1.2 Million Beneficiaries Listed As Scheme Begins Friday

The long-awaited student loan programme will take off on Friday with 1.2 million students in federal tertiary institutions across the country, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Education Loan Fund, Akintunde Sawyerr, has said.

Sawyerr, who spoke at a pre-application sensitisation press conference in Abuja, on Monday, said 1.2 million students in federal universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, and technical colleges would benefit from the first phase.

Data obtained from the National Universities Commission website indicated that the nation has 226 federal tertiary institutions comprising 62 universities, 41 polytechnics, 96 monotechnics and 27 colleges of education.

President Bola Tinubu, on April 3, signed the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2024, into law.

The assent was sequel to the separate considerations by both the Senate and the House of Representatives of the report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.

The executive bill titled, ‘A bill for an Act to repeal the Students Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act, 2023 and Enact the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Bill, 2004 to Establish the Nigerian Education Loan Fund as a body corporate to receive, manage and invest funds to provide loans to Nigerians for higher education, vocational training and skills acquisition and related matters,’ was signed in the presence of the leadership of the National Assembly, ministers and major stakeholders of education.

The Act empowers the Nigeria Education Loan Fund to provide loans to qualified Nigerian students for tuition, fees, charges and upkeep during their studies in approved public tertiary institutions and vocational and skills acquisition establishments in the country.

The new law which repealed the Student Loan Act, 2023, removed the family income threshold so students can apply for loans and accept responsibility for repayment, according to the Fund’s guidelines.

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