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FG initiates Nigerian Education Loan Fund

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By Mercy Kelani

An 11-person committee has been established by the gov’t to fulfill this cause.

The initiation of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) program is marked by the first meeting of the Special Committee, taking place on February 26, 2024, to prepare for its official launch. Olayemi Cardoso, serving as the Chairman of the Special Committee, took charge of leading the meeting as the Governor of the Central Bank. In accordance with the Students Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act 2023, the 11-person committee is made up of the Chairman, members from various Ministries, Departments, and other Agencies.

It also includes Akintunde Sawyer, the Executive Secretary of NELFUND, who serves as the Special Committee’s Secretary. The Special Committee is composed of key individuals including the Governor of the Central Bank serving as the chairman, the executive secretary of the Fund, the secretary of the Committee, a representative from the Ministry of Education, a representative from the Ministry of Finance, the chair of the National Universities Commission, a representative from the Vice Chancellor’s Forum, and a representative from the Rectors and Provost Forum.

This legislation provides financial assistance for indigent Nig. students.

Additional members of the committee consist of the Auditor General of the Federation, delegates from the Nigeria Labour Congress, a member from the Nigerian Bar Association, and a representative from the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) who have notified their refusal to join the committee. It was emphasized by Mr. Cardoso that committee members should harness their unique talents in order to guarantee the triumph of the program, a key initiative of President Bola Tinubu.

He stressed that the continuous involvement of different stakeholders needs to be heightened for a seamless implementation of the project. Reminisce on the passing of the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act in 2023, which was approved by President Tinubu on June 12 of the same year. This legislation establishes a structure for providing financial assistance to underprivileged or financially disadvantaged individuals in Nigeria to assist with covering the costs of their educational expenses.

Enhancing accessibility to education for all Nigerian students.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has called for the expansion of the Act to include Nigerian students in pursuance of vocational training in addition to those seeking higher education. The main goal remains to enhance accessibility to education for all Nigerian students. Mr. Cardoso enthusiastically expressed his dedication and backing for the program, commending the President for his strong commitment towards implementation of a scheme aimed at alleviating the financial burden of financing education for Nigerian students.

Also, the foundation has been laid for the fund’s ultimate launch with the first gathering of all authorized parties involved in the project. The Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) was established under the Access to Higher Education Act, 2023 in Nigeria to provide financial assistance for education. The Students Loan Law aims to offer financial assistance in the form of loans to financially challenged Nigerian students who need help covering tuition fees at universities and colleges within Nigeria.

Related Article: Students Loan Scheme Set to Start this Month

Additionally, NELFUND was established by the Act with the purpose of managing loan applications, distributing grants, and overseeing the repayment of all loans given out. As required by the Act, The Fund will receive funding from various sources and will also participate in other profitable ventures. According to the Act, the funding will come from a variety of sources such as donations, gifts, grants, endowments, and revenue generated by the fund from various other sources.

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