The Nigerian government, led by President Bola Tinubu, has initiated steps to ensure the commencement of student loans between September and October 2023. The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Andrew David Adejo, shared this information during a press briefing in Abuja. He mentioned that a committee comprising various ministries and agencies, as approved by Tinubu, has been tasked with implementing the Students Loan Bill recently signed into law.
Adejo emphasized that the bill’s objective is to ensure access to higher education for all Nigerians through the establishment of the Higher Education Nigerian Bank. Learning from past experiences, the bank will not solely focus on loan applications but will also function as a regular bank. It aims to streamline the loan granting process, taking into account lessons learned from previous loan recovery cases.
While the bill outlines the necessary procedures, the President has given his approval for the committee to convene on June 20th. Furthermore, he has directed that loan recipients should be identified and supported by September to October of the 2023/2024 academic session. Adejo emphasized the urgency of the matter and acknowledged the need to finalize the loan disbursement process within the given timeline.
The Permanent Secretary also highlighted the government’s intention to establish a specialized bank to administer the student loans. This bank will incorporate a tracking system to ensure the efficient management of the loan scheme. Adejo confirmed that both private and public school students will be eligible for the loans. Consequently, a new bank will be created specifically for this purpose, as existing banks are deemed unsuitable.
The government’s aim is to provide equal opportunities to students from both private and public schools. By creating a dedicated bank, they can cater to the needs of all students, including those attending private institutions who are already paying tuition fees.