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FG postpones students loan scheme Indefinitely

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Akintunde Sawyer

The launch of the Nigerian Students Loan Scheme by the Federal Government has been indefinitely postponed.  

This was conveyed by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, Akintunde Sawyer, during an interview. 

Earlier in June 2023, President Bola Tinubu signed a bill initiating a Students Loan Fund aimed at providing interest-free loans to Nigerians for higher education.  

The bill, which passed the third reading in the lower chamber on May 23, 2023, aims to offer financial assistance to Nigerian students enrolled in tertiary institutions. 

The bill, proposed by former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, was slated to commence between September and October 2023. 

Despite initial plans, the program’s commencement was delayed, with Tinubu announcing a new start date for January 2024, after missing the October deadline. 

In January, Minister of State for Education, Yusuf Sununu, confirmed that preparations, including the creation of the Student Loan Scheme website and program implementation planning, were completed. 

Tinubu also communicated to leaders of the National Association of Nigerian Students that additional features, such as vocational studies, would be incorporated before the program’s launch. 

However, just 48 hours before the scheduled launch, Sawyer announced the postponement of the loan scheme due to ongoing corrections required before the launch.  

Sawyer regretfully stated that he would be unable to provide a specific date for commitment and explained that they were waiting to ensure alignment among all stakeholders to prevent anyone from being blindsided. He further mentioned that once this alignment was achieved, they could proceed with rolling out the project in a meaningful, comprehensive, wholesome, and sustainable manner. 

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