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Student Loan Suspended For a While, Not Indefinitely — FG

The Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Sonny Echono has assured that the launch of the student loan scheme has only been postponed for a couple of weeks and not indefinitely.

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He said this at the TETFUND headquarters in Abuja when the governor of Kwara state paid him a courtesy visit.

Echono said the delay in the launch is only to make sure that there are no complications in the proper implementation of the scheme and to ensure that the scheme is up to standard.

Echono’s clarification followed the announcement by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, Akintunde Sawyer that the launch of the scheme had been suspended indefinitely.

Sawyer in an interview with Arise news channel said the loan scheme was postponed due to some corrections that were being made around the launch.

“Unfortunately, I won’t be able to commit to a specific date. We are sort of waiting to ensure that all the stakeholders are aligned to make sure that nobody is blindsided, then we can actually roll this out in a meaningful, comprehensive, wholesome and sustainable way,” he said.

However, speaking in Abuja, Echono said, “The loan has not been postponed indefinitely, there’s just a little housekeeping that needs to be done, the president has arrangements in place for the launch.

“We are discussing a matter of days, maximum weeks for it to take off. The president is very committed to this, and I can assure you that this is going to be done in the best way.

“We don’t want to hurriedly launch the programme, and there are objections, and it isn’t sustained.

“We’re making sure that the loan can accommodate as many that need it. Even for people with skills, it’s going to be a game changer. We’re working hand in hand with JAMB, we know when admissions will commence, so we are not far behind.

“In the next couple of weeks, the scheme will take off, and it will accommodate everyone, even students of vocational studies.”

Speaking also on the issues of insecurity in tertiary institutions, the EVS also said the Federal Government is working tirelessly to tackle all issues of insecurity, and all security problems will soon be a thing of the past.

Speaking, Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, the governor of Kwara State, applauded TETFund for its intervention funds to universities in the state.

“In Kwara, we have the best university library in West Africa, with an amazing structure, this is all thanks to TETFund.”

In June 2023, President Bola Tinubu signed a bill to start a Students Loan Fund that would give interest-free loans to Nigerians for higher education.

A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, proposed the bill and it was supposed to start between September and October 2023.

Meanwhile, Tinubu said the programme would begin in January 2024, after missing the October deadline.

In January, Minister of State for Education, Yusuf Sununu, said at a meeting that preparations for the programme were finished. This included making the Student Loan Scheme website and planning how to start the programme.

Also, Tinubu told leaders of the National Association of Nigerian Students that the programme would start once they added more features, like vocational studies.

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