Student Loan: We Will Ensure No ‘Ghost Student’ Access The Loan – MD NELFUND

L-R: MD/CEO, NELFUND, Mr. Akintunde Sawyerr and Executive Director, Finance & Administration, Dr. Fred Femi Akinfala while addressing member of EWAN in Lagos yesterday

By Ayo Ajayi

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, MD/CEO of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, NELFUND, Mr. Akintunde Sawyerr has assured Nigerians that the body would ensure that those he called ‘ghost students’ would not have access to the soon-to-be-launched scheme.

Mr. Sawyerr, gave the assurance in Lagos on Wednesday while fielding questions from education writers.

The MD noted that NELFUND has put processes in place to ensure that all applicants and beneficiaries are traceable to prevent the loan from turning into a sort of national cake.

“We are using technology to run the system. The process of application is online and we are limiting human contact as much as possible. Once you have a Bank Verification Number, BVN and National Identification Number, NIN, which are parts of the requirements, we will have access to your data and all your accounts. This will also help us to know if you are qualified or not,” he explained.

He explained further that those who are already in school can apply for the loan at any level of their study, but must be at the beginning of each session. They would also have to provide their admission and matriculation details in addition to BVN and NIN.

According to the NELFUND boss, about 1.2 million Nigerian students in tertiary institutions and government-recognized skill acquisition centres would be among the first batch of beneficiaries. The number may increase as time goes on.

The programme, he noted, will be funded with one per cent of the total annual collectable revenue by the FEDERAL Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, which will amount to N194 billion if the agency meets its projection.

He explained that the loan would be paid in two segments. The first, he said, is the chargeable school fees which would be paid directly to the institutions while stipend would be paid into individual student’s account for day-to-day upkeep.

Mr. Sawyerr stated that the amount individual applicants will access will vary because of the course of study, school fees payable and geographical location of the institutions among others.

On the method of payback, he said, “You don’t start paying back the loan until two years after your National Youth Service Corps, NYSC Scheme and that is, if you have secured a job or business. A beneficiary can defer repayment if he has not secured a job, but if after due diligence, he defaulted, then he becomes a criminal and we will work with every agency that can help us get the money back, for example, EFCC, ICPC etc.”

(Visited 24 times, 1 visits today)