Education

Student Loan: FG set to pay N35 billion to 70,000 successful applicants

Plans have been concluded by the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) to pay out a total of N35 billion in fees and monthly upkeep allowances to 70,000 applicants who are already successful in their loan applications, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

The successful applicants, who are students of federal government-owned tertiary institutions across the country, were drawn from the pool of 120,000 applicants who sent in their applications as of Friday, 21 June.

Sources confirmed that the successful candidates can check their dashboards on the agency’s portal to know the status of their applications.

Though the spokesman for NELFUND, Nasir Ayitogo, said he could neither confirm nor deny the information when our reporter reached out to him on the phone for confirmation, other highly placed sources within the agency confirmed the development.

Mr Ayitogo, however, said the agency was working hard to fulfil its mandate of bringing smiles to the faces of indigent Nigerian students, who he said are eager to benefit from the initiative as approved by President Bola Tinubu.

The sources said each applicant’s status is expected to show the processes of verification up till when approved or denied, and when the funds are eventually disbursed.

Funds distribution
According to multiple sources within the agency, the various applicants will have their fees charged by their institutions paid directly into the institutions’ bank accounts.

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The fees to be paid, according to these sources, will be the total of fees payable by students based on their courses of study which could include other sundry fees such as departmental levies, laboratory fees, and health insurance fees, among others.

One of the sources, who does not want to be quoted for lacking the authority to speak on the matter, said: “What is clear is that when the fees for these 70,000 applicants were summed up, they amounted to N35 billion and this will be paid this week.

“The applicants will also receive a monthly allowance for their upkeep.”

The sources said the school fees will be paid to different institutions only at the beginning of the sessions, “so the funds wouldn’t be paid for all at the same time.”

N20,000 monthly stipend
Sources have also confirmed that the agency has concluded plans to pay N20,000 every month to all the successful applicants for every year of their studentship.

“This amount will total N240,000 per year, but to be qualified in the next year, the applicant will have to reapply because it is a refundable loan and not a gift,” another source said.

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The source clarified that whether the beneficiaries’ schools are in session or not, the N20,000 upkeep allowance will be paid every month to allow for their upkeep even while at home.

More applications being evaluated
Meanwhile, the sources confirmed that a total of 50,000 additional applications are already currently being evaluated for possible consideration, noting that the agency receives an average of 150 applications per day.

“These 50,000 applications for the second batch of the applicants from the federal institutions that are currently being reviewed. As soon as the verifications of their details, including their studentship, and details of guarantors, among others, are confirmed, their fees will be paid, and allowances forwarded to them.”

Portal to open for state-owned institutions
The agency had earlier confirmed that applicants from tertiary institutions owned by the state governments across the 36 states of the federation will be onboarded beginning from Tuesday, 25 June while also announcing that it would publish the full list of institutions that have submitted their complete students’ data for the Student Verification System (SVS) portal on 24 June.

The agency announced this on its X handle in a statement signed by Mr Ayitogo, who said the list will comprise both state and federal institutions “to ensure transparency and to encourage due access and participation in the scheme, of both undergraduate applicants and tertiary institutions in this critical exercise.”

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“It is commendable that many federal institutions have already completed the exercise having been the first wave, whilst the process of uploading the data to NELFUND SVS is currently ongoing for the state-owned institutions,” the statement noted.

The agency said for applicants to access the fund, the individual’s details must feature in the data set sent by the institution to the NELFUND SVS, where it claims automatic applicant verification can take place seamlessly.

NELFUND
The Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) was created by the Access to Higher Education Act, which President Bola Tinubu signed.

The Fund is tasked with handling all student loan requests, grants, disbursement, and recovery of the loans.

The Fund is being funded from multiple streams and will engage in other productive activities. It will also be funded through donations, gifts, grants, endowments, and revenue accruing to the fund from any other source, according to the Act.

Source: PremiumTimes

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  • Lautech should please apply their student for the loan,I really don’t want to drop out,I don’t want my dreams to be cut short