President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will officially launch the much-awaited student loan scheme on February 21 in Abuja.

The loan aims to provide access to funding for all Nigerian students in higher institutions, with flexible repayment terms starting two years after national youth service. Tinubu has also directed that qualified Nigerians with informal education and those in private universities be included.

Only currently enrolled university students will benefit in the first phase, the launch was delayed to ensure robust administrative and logistical frameworks are in place, sources said.

Akintunde Sawyerr, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), confirmed the launch date to TheCable. He said the application process will be technology-driven for transparency and fairness.

Eligible applicants must be Nigerian undergraduate students in a tertiary institution with acceptable academic performance and financial inclusion status. Those applying for second degrees or higher are excluded.

Loans will be paid directly to schools via NELFUND’s Treasury Single Account to prevent graft. The NELFUND governing board, including CBN and education stakeholders, will also be inaugurated soon.

The Students Loans Act was passed in 2023 to provide interest-free funding access for poor Nigerian students. President Tinubu signed it into law last June.

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