The Nigerian government has confirmed that its plans to kick off the Student Loan Scheme in January remain intact, ensuring timely access to the credit facility for students within 30 days.
Minister of State for Education, Yusuf Sununu, shared this information with State House correspondents on Wednesday, following the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Presidential Villa.
Sununu assured that all preparations for the scheme’s commencement are in place, with the completion of the Student Loan Scheme website and finalisation of technical plans facilitating the imminent launch.
The Minister emphasised, “funds have been made available for the Student loan scheme in the nation’s 2024 budget and the supplementary budget for 2023.
He added, “January is a reality for the commencement of the student loan scheme in Nigeria; already the website is almost done. The application for beneficiaries will be online, criteria for students to get admission is that you must be a Nigerian and find yourself in a public school, and the application is also online, which will be processed timely, and you can access your loan within 30 days.”
Sununu reiterated, “Funds have been set aside in the 2024 appropriation act, as well as the supplementary budget for 2023.”
In addition to the Student Loan Scheme, the Nigerian government has given the green light to a new policy on transnational education within the country.
Minister of State for Education, Yusuf Sununu, shared this development with State House Correspondents, stating that the Federal Executive Council, under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has adopted guidelines for implementing transnational education across borders.
Explaining the rationale behind the policy, Sununu highlighted Nigeria’s membership in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and its adherence to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), which includes education as an exportable service.
The Minister detailed that the new policy aims to increase access to tertiary education in Nigeria, given the high number of secondary school graduates seeking university admission annually. Transnational education will facilitate collaboration between Nigerian institutions and their foreign counterparts, providing educational services within Nigeria.
Sununu emphasised, “What it means is that exchange of cross-fertilisation of ideas exchange that progressive education can be done across borders.”
“The documents provide a guideline whereby a foreign institution can collaborate with local institution within the country or can even come and establish a conference within the country without widely access of placement in Nigeria, and also permit us to increase access in terms of widening the scope of research that is going to be conducted within the country.”
“Based on this justification presented to the council, which has the policy document that was developed by the National Universities Commission and the FME, the council graciously note the presentation of the document so that it can be implemented to increase access to tertiary education in Nigeria.”