Presidency explains postponement of NELFUND launch

GodGift Ifunanya
3 Min Read

The Presidency, on Wednesday, reaffirmed President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND),

The Presidency was reacting to the postponement of the planned launch of the Fund, which was initially scheduled for Thursday, March 14, explaining that a new date would soon be announced.

Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, while reacting to a question on the matter during the post-Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House Abuja, said the postponement was necessitated by the need to plan the programme better.

It would be recalled that the federal government had on Tuesday announced the indefinite postponement of the scheme’s launch.

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On June 12, 2023, President Tinubu signed the Access to Higher Education Act, 2023, into law to enable indigent students to access interest-free loans for their educational pursuits in any Nigerian tertiary institution.

The Act, popularly known as the Students Loan Law, also established the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, which is expected to handle all loan requests, grants, disbursement, and recovery.

The student loan bill was sponsored by Femi Gbajabiamila, the immediate-past Speaker of the House of Representatives and current Chief of Staff to the President.

The legislation provides for the establishment of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, which will have the power to administer, supervise, coordinate, and monitor the management of student loans in the country.

Based on the provisions of the legislation, the fund is expected to receive and screen applications for student loans through higher institutions on behalf of the applicants.

However, providing an explanation for the postponement of the Funds launch, Onanuga said: “There’ll be a new date to launch the student loan scheme, it’s not forgotten. There are some things that need to be rearranged so that it can be launched properly.

I think that’s what’s happening. So the President’s committed to it, you know it’s one of his flagship programs and he wants to get it done as quickly as possible.”

Providing additional insight, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, recalled that President Tinubu had planned out other people-oriented policies and programmes, like the introduction of Social Security and consumer credit programmes that are also being prepared for launch.

Idris, who explained that the various programmes are being taken together, said: “In addition to that, you know that the President has also introduced the issue of social security and consumer credit. We mentioned that in the last press briefing, we had.

“So all these are being taken together and Mr. President is not stopping or suspending the students’ loan. Indeed, he’s ensuring that it comes about strongly so that Nigerians and especially the families of the less privileged, take advantage of that so that they can get education.”

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