NELFUND Approves Immediate Disbursement of Student Loans

NELFUND Approves Immediate Disbursement of Student Loans

By AmforGod J. Olisa

The Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) has announced the immediate disbursement of student loans to successful applicants, marking a significant milestone in its mission to support education through financial aid.

Nasir Ayitogo, Head of Media and Public Relations at NELFUND, conveyed this development in a statement issued in Abuja. He highlighted that the decision was made during the Board’s inaugural meeting on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, held in Abuja. The meeting, chaired by Board Chairman Mr. Jim Ovia, focused primarily on approving the disbursement of student loans.

“This decision underscores President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s dedication to providing timely and essential financial assistance to students in need, enabling them to pursue their educational goals without undue financial stress,” the statement read.

Ayitogo emphasized that by approving the immediate disbursement of loans, NELFUND is taking a crucial step in fulfilling its mission to support education and empower the next generation of leaders. The inaugural meeting also laid the groundwork for future initiatives aimed at enhancing educational opportunities and providing comprehensive support to students across various disciplines.

Present at the meeting were the management of the fund led by Managing Director/CEO Mr. Akintunde Sawyerr and representatives from member organizations. Sawyerr recently disclosed that President Tinubu approved N35 billion for the launch of the student loan scheme. He explained that the funds would be disbursed according to the academic timetables and calendars of each institution.

“The funds will be disbursed based on the timetable and calendars of the academic sessions of each institution,” Sawyerr said. He also noted that the application portal, which launched on May 24, would remain open permanently to accommodate institutions with different academic calendars.

NELFUND has already approved 70,000 applications, with another 50,000 currently under evaluation and expected to be approved within 30 days. The Fund had previously reported that over 90% of federal higher education institutions have submitted their student data.

Starting June 25, 2024, NELFUND will also begin receiving applications from students at state-owned tertiary institutions. The loans, equivalent to the tuition fees of the benefiting students, will be paid directly to their institutions. Additionally, stipends will be disbursed monthly to beneficiaries to cover other necessary expenses while they pursue their education.

“This result constitutes a challenge to all Nigerians, particularly our universities. We are all aware of the economic doldrum that the country is battling with. I must stress that education is the panacea to all the ignorance, extremism, poverty, religious bigotry and tribalism among other problems, confronting the country,” Ayitogo stated.

The Board’s decision marks a critical advancement in NELFUND’s commitment to empowering students through financial support, reinforcing the government’s dedication to improving the nation’s educational landscape.

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