March 4, 2024

President Bola Tinubu has directed an expansion of the focus of the Nigeria Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) to include students interested in skill-development programmes.
Tinubu gave the directive to the management of the Fund after receiving briefing on the build-up to the launch of the programme later in the month from the Executive Secretary of NELFUND, Dr Akintunde Sawyerr, at the State House, Abuja.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, the President said it was important for the scheme to accommodate those who may not want to pursue university education, noting that skill acquisition is as important as obtaining undergraduate and graduate academic qualifications.

“This is not an exclusive programme. It is catering to all of our young people. Young Nigerians are gifted in different areas. This is not only for those who want to be doctors, lawyers, and accountants. It is also for those who aspire to use their skilled and trained hands to build our nation.


“In accordance with this, I have instructed NELFUND to explore all opportunities to inculcate skill-development programmes because not everybody wants to go through a full university education,” he said.

Tinubu emphasised the need for equity and inclusivity in the management of the programme, stating: “No matter how economically challenged you are, accredited and qualified students will and must have access to this loan to advance their education in higher institutions. There is no compromise in our commitment to the disadvantaged citizens of this nation.”

In his presentation to the President, Sawyerr said the loan application process will be technology-driven, limiting human interface and “eliminating any possibility of maladministration in the programme.”

“By design, this is a perpetual programme and will not terminate. The funds, earmarked for bona-fide Nigerian students, will be disbursed directly to the institutions in the initial phase through electronic transfer. Our students will be catered to in a way that bypasses human interference through the full utilization of available technological platforms, in adherence to Your Excellency’s stated objectives,” he said.

He also said NELFUND has developed a robust risk-mitigation mechanism to address potential risks that may arise from the programme.

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