Nigerian Students Studying Abroad Not Eligible For Loan, Says NELFUND

Nigerian Students Studying Abroad Not Eligible For Loan, Says NELFUND
Nigerian Students Studying Abroad Not Eligible For Loan, Says NELFUND

The Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) has explicitly stated that Nigerian students studying abroad will not be eligible for the newly introduced student loan programme. This clarification was made by Mr. Akintunde Sawyerr, the Managing Director of NELFUND, on Friday, 31st May 2024, marking a significant restriction on the scope of the programme.

Supported by President Bola Tinubu, the Access to Higher Education Act 2023 underlines the provision of interest-free loans to financially disadvantaged students. However, this benefit is reserved for those attending tertiary educational institutions within Nigeria’s borders. This move is part of President Tinubu’s broader efforts to enhance education funding in the country and has already seen notable interest, with around 60,000 individuals registering interest on the NELFUND website.

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“Nigerians in Diaspora cannot benefit from the student loan. Nigerians schooling in the country are those we want to help. The law does not allow the FG to give loans to Nigerians studying abroad,” Sawyerr stated.

This policy has sparked criticism from educational advocates. Adaramoye Lenin, the National Mobilisation Officer of the Education Rights Campaign, voiced disappointment over the exclusion of foreign-based students from the loan scheme. Lenin argues that this decision underscores the program’s inadequacy in meeting the extensive educational requirements of Nigerian students. He further criticized the government’s approach as a tactic to shift the financial responsibility of education onto students, rather than addressing the root need for increased educational funding.

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