Students, parents, and stakeholders have expressed frustration and outrage as the disbursement of student loans promised by the Nigerian government, under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu, faces further delays.
The Students Loan Fund (SLF), designed to provide interest-free loans to disadvantaged students, has experienced persistent setbacks, missing the January 2024 target set by the government.
Despite assurances from President Tinubu, who signed the SLF into law in June 2023, the delay continues to leave aspiring students and their families uncertain.
Initially expected to commence between September and October 2023, the program encountered obstacles leading to the revised January 2024 timeline.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Education, Yusuf Sununu, confirmed that preparations were completed for the scheme to begin, including the finalisation of the Student Loan scheme website and the conclusion of technical plans to facilitate the scheme’s kick-off.
However, Leadership newspaper reports that neither the website nor a new update had been provided on the subject since the minister made the statement.
Also, an official from the Ministry of Education who does not want his name mentioned said expansion hurdles are the reason behind the delay of the student loan.
“I think the delay in the initiation of student loans arises due to obstacles in the expansion process, which hinders the timely takeoff of this financial support for students,” he said.
On his part, the president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Comrade Lucky Emonefe, said the students are still waiting for the committee on the scheme to meet with stakeholders to kickstart it.
He also attributed the delay to the expansion of the loan scheme.
He said: “There is a little delay due to the expansion of the loan scheme by Mr. President. We are waiting for the committee to meet with relevant stakeholders like NANS so that we can kick start.”
Meanwhile, a cross-section of Nigerian students has implored the government to begin the student loan scheme, saying that it will unlock doors to education for those who dream of a brighter future.
A student of microbiology at the University of Abuja, who identified himself as Victor, urged the government to stick to its promise and initiate the student loan scheme.
“We urge the government to commence the student loan scheme. If the government invests in education it will shape our nation’s future,” he said.
Some parents also urged the government to kickstart the student loan to support children’s pursuit of higher education.
Gloria Kator, a resident of Lugbe, Abuja, whose son is at the University of Abuja, urged the government to initiate the student loan without delay to secure a brighter future for Nigerian children through accessible education.
“I would like to implore the government to commence student loans promptly, ensuring our children’s educational journey is not hindered by financial barriers,” she said…..CONTINUE FULL READING>>>