NELFund takes off with 1.2 million beneficiaries from tertiary institutions

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*Sawyerr

The managing director/chief executive officer of the Nigeria Education Loan Fund (NELFund), Mr Akintunde Sawyerr, said the scheme will take off Friday, May 24 with 1.2 million first phase beneficiary students drawn from the federal universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and technical colleges.

Sawyer disclosed this at a pre-application sensitisation media parley held yesterday in Lagos.

“There are approximately 1.2 million students in federal tertiary institutions owned by the government. Today, by inference, 1.2 million students maximum at the federal level (will benefit), but there might be an opportunity to increase the capacity in terms of more institutions, and when we begin to bring in state-owned institutions, then the numbers can go up,” he said.

He explained that only students whose institutions had uploaded their data on the Fund’s dashboard would be eligible to apply.

He called on students in federal tertiary institutions to visit the NELFund website to apply from May 24.
He said students in state universities and vocational skills centres could apply at a later date.

Sawyer further said the requirements to apply include the admission letter from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), national identity number, and bank verification number as well as completed application forms from its website.

“The loan application process has been streamlined to ensure easy access for all eligible students in federal tertiary institutions.

Applicants can access online support to assist with any questions or concerns during the application process,” he added.

He said the programme is done impersonally as there is no physical contact between the loan applicant and NELFund

According to him, the portal provides a user-friendly interface for students to submit their loan applications conveniently.

He encouraged students in federal tertiary institutions to take advantage of the opportunity to secure the required financial assistance for their education, even as he urged the applicants to submit their applications as soon as possible to ensure timely processing.

He revealed that in addition to the interest-free loan, applicants will also receive monthly stipends for upkeep but did not disclose the amount.

“That figure will be capped. And we will look very closely at each application and make a decision based on several factors as to what fees will be paid to them.’’

“The fees for the institution are going to be paid not to the students but to the institution. And that will be paid at the maximum of that fee per session. We will only pay for a session at a time because people drop out of institutions, they change institutions,” he clarified.

Sawyerr also said the institutions have vital roles to play in providing the Fund with data on fees payable by students at the departmental, faculty and other levels.

Meanwhile, he said the agency was also working with security agencies to ensure that people do not take advantage and defraud the process.