The Federal Government announced on Wednesday that it is putting the finishing touches on the procedures for the disbursement of student loans, which is anticipated to start between September and October 2023.
David Adejo, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, revealed this to reporters in Abuja while discussing the new Student Loan Act.
DAILY POST recalls that President Tinubu on Monday signed into law the Student Loan Bill in fulfilment of a promise he made during his campaign.
The bill, sponsored by Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives, provides needy Nigerian students with interest-free loans.
According to Adejo, the bill will ensure that every Nigerian has access to higher education through the Higher Education Nigerian Bank.
“We are not going to use existing banks. We are going to create a new bank that will address this. Learning from past mistakes, the bank is not going to be the type to sit down and collect application loans. It will also perform normal banking functions and make sure loans are given because we have had cases of loan recovery in the past,” he said.
Speaking further, Adejo said: “The act as it is tells us the process, but as I speak with you today, the President has approved a committee made up of the ministries and agencies, and their meeting will be coming up on June 20.
“The President has also directed that by September to October of this 2023–2024 academic session, he wants to see recipients of these loans. It is a very serious march for us, so between now and then we have to fathom the process for people to get the loan.”
The Permanent Secretary avowed that aside from the creation of a specialised bank for the operation of the loans, there would be a tracking system for the efficient and smooth running of the scheme.
He said the purpose of the loan is to help applicants get into an education programme and subsequently get employed.
Loan recovery, he stressed, does not start until the applicant is employed.
“We don’t want to make it so that only people who want to go to public schools will benefit from it; private schools are paying tuition, so you have to give them the opportunity,” he added.