Home Education FG to open student loan application portal May 24

FG to open student loan application portal May 24

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The Federal Government, through the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFund), has announced May 24, 2024, as the official opening date for student loan applications. This announcement was made in a statement by Nasir Ayantogo, the media lead for NELFund.

Ayantogo stated that the opening of the application portal represents a significant milestone in President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to “fostering accessible and inclusive education for all Nigerian students.”

On June 12, 2023, President Tinubu signed the Access to Higher Education Act, 2023 into law. This legislation enables indigent students to access interest-free loans for their educational pursuits at any Nigerian tertiary institution. This move was described by Dele Alake, a member of the then Presidential Strategy Team, as a fulfillment of Tinubu’s campaign promise to liberalize education funding.

The Act, commonly known as the Students Loan Law, also established the Nigerian Education Loan Fund to handle all loan requests, grants, disbursements, and recoveries.

Although the government initially announced that the scheme would be launched in September, it experienced several delays, leading to an indefinite postponement in early March. The Presidency attributed the delay to Tinubu’s directive to expand the scheme to include loans for vocational skills.

After a briefing from the NELFund team led by the Minister of State for Education, Dr. Yusuf Sununu, on January 22, the President directed the Fund to extend interest-free loans to Nigerian students interested in skill-development programs. Tinubu emphasized the importance of accommodating those who may not want to pursue a university education, noting that skill acquisition is as crucial as obtaining academic qualifications.

“This is not an exclusive program. It is catering to all of our young people. Young Nigerians are gifted in different areas. This is not only for those who want to be doctors, lawyers, and accountants. It is also for those who aspire to use their skilled and trained hands to build our nation. In accordance with this, I have instructed NELFund to explore all opportunities to inculcate skill-development programs because not everybody wants to go through a full university education,” Tinubu said.

Through the newly launched portal, students can now access loans to pursue their academic and skill-development aspirations without financial constraints. The portal provides a user-friendly interface for students to submit their loan applications conveniently.

“We encourage all eligible students to take advantage of this opportunity to invest in their future and contribute to the growth and development of our nation. Students can access the portal at www.nelf.gov.ng to begin their applications,” the statement added.

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