President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has instructed the extension of interest-free loans to Nigerian students interested in skill development programmes. The directive came after a briefing from Mr. Akintunde Sawyerr, Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), at the State House on Monday, detailing preparations for the programme’s launch later this month.
In emphasising equity and inclusivity, President Tinubu directed NELFUND to broaden its focus to cover skill acquisition. He highlighted the importance of accommodating individuals who are not pursuing traditional university education, emphasising that skill acquisition is as valuable as obtaining academic qualifications.
President Tinubu stated, “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.
He emphasised the commitment to ensuring that accredited and qualified students, regardless of economic challenges, have access to the interest-free loan for higher education.
No matter how economically challenged you are, accredited and qualified students will and must have access to this interest-free loan to advance their education in higher institutions. There is no compromise in our commitment to the disadvantaged citizens of this nation,” President Tinubu added.
In his presentation, Mr. Akintunde Sawyerr highlighted that the loan application process would be technology-driven, reducing human interaction and eliminating the potential for maladministration. He assured that the programme, designed as a perpetual initiative, would disburse funds directly to institutions through electronic transfers, bypassing human interference. NELFUND has also developed a robust risk-mitigation mechanism for potential programme risks.