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President Tinubu Directs Expansion of Student-Loan Programme to Include Skill Development

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President Bola Tinubu has directed the management of the Nigeria Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) to expand its focus area by extending interest-free loans to Nigerian students interested in skill-development programmes.

The President issued this directive at the State House on Monday after a briefing from Mr. Akintunde Sawyerr, Executive Secretary of NELFUND, on the build-up to the programme’s launch later in the month.

The President said it is important for the scheme to accommodate those who may not want to pursue university education, noting that skill acquisition is as important as obtaining undergraduate and graduate academic qualifications.

“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. In accordance with this, I have instructed NELFUND to explore all opportunities to inculcate skill-development programmes because not everybody wants to go through a full university education,” he said.

President Tinubu emphasized the need for equity and inclusivity in the management of the programme, stating: “No matter how economically challenged you are, accredited and qualified students will and must have access to this loan to advance their education in higher institutions. There is no compromise in our commitment to the disadvantaged citizens of this nation.”

In his presentation to the President, the Executive Secretary of the Fund, Mr. Akintunde Sawyerr, said the loan application process will be technology-driven, limiting human interface and “eliminating any possibility of maladministration in the programme.”

He also said NELFUND has developed a robust risk-mitigation mechanism to address potential risks arising from the programme.

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