NELFUND to Disburse Loans to 1.2m Students

Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

The Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) is set to disburse loans to 1.2 million undergraduate students of federal tertiary institutions which includes universities, polytechnics and colleges of education, amongst others.

Students are expected to log into the NELFUND website and student portal, create an account and provide required documents which include JAMB admission letter, national identification number, bank verification number and other academic details.

The loan which would be paid directly to the institutions will be 100 per cent tuition fee per session while monthly stipends would be given directly to the benefitting students to serve as support.

Disclosing this in Abuja, yesterday, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NELFUND, Akintunde Sawyer, who said students of federal institutions were encouraged to apply, stated that with time, public institutions owned by state governments would also be included.

He said in order not to play with tax payers money and to support more students that look forward to be beneficiaries, bad loans would be handled through partnership with security agencies.

Sawyer, disclosed that the loans which were expected to be paid two years after the completion of the compulsory one-year National Youth Service Scheme would be done with the help of employees who are expected to do so directly into the coffers of the fund.

He said, “before employment, they should check and see if loans were received by the employee and refusal to play can lead to prosecution.”

He added that contrary to rules of engagement when loans were involved, the students’ loan would be without collateral guarantors or reference from the society, noting that once there’s JAMB number and admission letter amongst other requirements, then the students are technically qualified to access the loans.

“We have 1.2 million students in Nigeria today in federal government owned tertiary institutions. 1.2 million is the maximum we can accommodate at the federal level. There might be opportunities to increase capacity but will work now with available spaces.

“Information about applicants will be needed to ensure that beneficiaries are Nigerians. We will work with security agencies to ensure that they are of good character and intents and not deliberate fraud.

“Constant communication will be established and information on any misdemeanor from the institution about the students will be required.

“There might also be issues of death. The law makes provision for such and is referred to as forgiveness of death sentence. Other reasons might be debilitating illness that might stop them from the continuation of studies.

“We will make sure we protect tax-payers’ money so that there will be room for more students to enroll. As long as the institutions do not collapse, we will be able to get back the loans,” he said.

The students’ loan portal will be opened on Friday and will commence with students whose institutions have registered them as eligible.

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