Nigerian Students Loan Scheme Launch on Hold Indefinitely

The Nigerian government’s much-anticipated Students Loan Scheme has been postponed indefinitely, dashing the hopes of students seeking financial aid for higher education. Akintunde Sawyer, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), confirmed the delay during an interview with ARISE NEWS on Tuesday.

The scheme, initially proposed by former House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, was signed into law by President Bola Tinubu in June 2023. It promised interest-free loans to alleviate the financial burden of pursuing higher education for many Nigerians. Initial plans targeted a launch between September and October 2023.

However, the program faced repeated delays. After missing the October deadline, President Tinubu announced a January 2024 launch. In January, Minister of State for Education Yusuf Sununu assured reporters that preparations, including finalizing the loan website and technical plans, were complete. Subsequent revisions shifted the launch dates to February and then March 14, but none materialized.

NELFUND attributed the latest postponement to “pre-launch corrections” to the program’s policy framework. Sawyer acknowledged the frustration, stating, “Thursday (March 14) is not the day because there are some corrections being made around the launch itself.” He offered no concrete timeline for a revised launch, emphasizing the need for stakeholder alignment and a “meaningful, comprehensive, wholesome and sustainable way” to roll out the program.

The indefinite delay has caused disappointment among students and education advocates. The scheme was seen as a critical step towards improving access to higher education, particularly for students from low-income backgrounds. With universities charging high fees, many students struggle to afford tuition and living expenses.

The delay raises questions about the government’s planning and execution capabilities. The repeated revisions and lack of a clear path forward create uncertainty for potential applicants. NELFUND’s focus on pre-launch adjustments suggests potential issues with eligibility criteria, repayment structures, or loan disbursement processes.

The indefinite postponement leaves many wondering when, or if, the Students Loan Scheme will become a reality. Until then, the financial barriers to higher education remain a significant hurdle for aspiring Nigerian students.

More Branches.

Internet Company Reaching Young & Smart Africans from Lagos, Nigeria.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

At least 61 people kidnapped in Kaduna, days after 287 students were abducted by suspected bandits

Next Story

Interswitch Eyes Telecoms Market with MNVO License Acquisition

Latest from News & Developments