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Why Tinubu keeps delaying student loans scheme in Nigeria – Presidency

Why Tinubu keeps delaying student loans scheme in Nigeria – Presidency

The presidency in Nigeria on Wednesday said President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was committed to the student loan scheme.

Addressing State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, special adviser to the president on information and strategy, Bayo Onanuga, said the scheme was undergoing finishing touches for proper implementation.

“There will be new date to launch the student loan scheme. There are things being done so that it can be launched properly and that’s what’s happening.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s student loan disbursement to begin September

“So, the president is committed to it, you know it’s one of his flagship programmes and he wants to get this thing done as soon as possible,” he said.

On June 12, 2023, the president endorsed the Access to Higher Education Act, 2023, facilitating interest-free loans for financially challenged students pursuing education in Nigerian tertiary institutions.

Called the Students Loan Law, this act also instituted the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, tasked with managing loan applications, grants, disbursements and repayments.

READ ALSO: Tinubu pledges to end ASUU strikes with 25% budgetary allocation to education

Femi Gbajabiamila, former Speaker of the House of Representatives and current Chief of Staff to the president, championed the student loan bill.

The legislation mandates the creation of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, empowered to oversee the administration, coordination, and monitoring of student loans nationwide.

Student Loans Scheme in Nigeria

In Nigeria, the student loans scheme is a government initiative aimed at providing financial assistance to students pursuing higher education. The scheme is designed to help students cover the costs of tuition fees, accommodation, books, and other educational expenses. The goal is to make higher education more accessible to a larger number of students, especially those from low-income backgrounds who may struggle to afford the costs associated with attending university.

Key Features of the Student Loans Scheme in Nigeria:

  1. Eligibility Criteria: To qualify for a student loan in Nigeria, applicants must meet certain criteria set by the government or financial institutions offering the loans. These criteria may include academic performance, financial need, and enrollment in an accredited institution.
  2. Loan Disbursement: Once approved, the student loans are disbursed directly to the educational institution to cover the student’s expenses. This ensures that the funds are used for their intended purpose and not mismanaged by the borrower.
  3. Repayment Terms: In Nigeria, student loans typically have favorable repayment terms, including low-interest rates and flexible repayment schedules. Repayment usually begins after the student completes their education and secures employment.
  4. Impact on Higher Education: The student loans scheme has had a positive impact on higher education in Nigeria by increasing access to education for students who would otherwise not be able to afford it. It has helped reduce financial barriers and allowed more students to pursue their academic aspirations.
  5. Government Support: The Nigerian government plays a crucial role in funding and overseeing the student loans scheme to ensure its effectiveness and sustainability. Government support is essential for the continued success of the program.

Challenges and Opportunities:

While the student loans scheme in Nigeria has been beneficial in expanding access to higher education, there are also challenges that need to be addressed. These include issues such as loan default rates, inadequate funding, and administrative inefficiencies. However, with proper management and continuous improvement, the scheme has the potential to further enhance educational opportunities for Nigerian students.

Overall, the student loans scheme in Nigeria serves as a valuable tool in promoting inclusive education and supporting students in their pursuit of academic excellence.

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