News, Reports

Nigerian Government To Open Student Loan Portal on May 24

Nmesoma Okwudili


May 22, 2024

The Nigerian government has officially announced that the application portal for the highly anticipated student loan program will open on Friday, May 24th.

This announcement was made in a statement released by the management of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), the organization responsible for administering and distributing the loans to eligible students.

This development comes eight months after the initial launch date of September 2023, which had been announced by President Bola Tinubu, failed to materialize. The program’s rollout was subsequently postponed to January, but further revisions were deemed necessary.

President Tinubu had initially set a September 2023 launch date, which was later moved to January. However, following feedback from concerned Nigerians and identifying several issues within the original legislation, the President withdrew the initial law. He then presented a revised version to address these concerns.

In April 2024, President Bola Tinubu signed the newly revised Student Loan Bill into law, effectively repealing the 2023 legislation. The 2024 Student Loan Act aims to provide sustainable access to higher education and promote functional skill development among Nigerian students and youths. The updated act addresses previous shortcomings and ensures a more robust framework for the distribution and management of student loans, reflecting the government’s commitment to enhancing educational opportunities across the nation.

The Act established the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) to provide financial assistance for tuition, fees, and living expenses at recognized higher education and vocational training institutions within Nigeria.

One significant change introduced by the Act is the removal of the family income threshold, allowing all Nigerian students to apply for these loans, irrespective of their family’s financial status. This change empowers students to take responsibility for their loan repayment independently.

Additionally, the Act has eliminated the guarantor requirement. Students can now receive loans based solely on NELFUND’s application and identity verification guidelines, ensuring that applicants are not disqualified due to their parents’ loan history.

Regarding loan repayment, the Student Loan Act stipulates that NELFUND will not initiate recovery efforts until two years after the beneficiary has completed the National Youth Service Programme (NYSC). This grace period provides graduates with ample time to secure employment and stabilize financially before beginning repayment.

Furthermore, beneficiaries who remain unemployed after the NYSC can request an extension of the enforcement action by submitting a sworn affidavit attesting to their lack of employment and income. However, anyone found guilty of providing false information to the Fund under this provision is committing a felony and faces a potential imprisonment term of three years.

These provisions ensure a fair and accessible loan system aimed at supporting the educational aspirations of Nigerian students while maintaining accountability and integrity in the loan disbursement and repayment process.

In a statement released by the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) and signed by its spokesperson, Nasir Ayitogo, the organization announced that the application portal will officially open on May 24th.

The statement, signed by Managing Director Mr. Akintunde Sawyerr, reads in part: “The management of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) is thrilled to announce May 24th, 2024, as the official date for the opening of the student loan application portal. This marks a significant milestone in President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s (GCFR) commitment to fostering accessible and inclusive education for all Nigerian students. The portal will enable students to access loans to pursue their academic aspirations without financial constraints, featuring a user-friendly interface for convenient application submission.”

The agency encouraged eligible students from tertiary institutions and accredited skill acquisition centers nationwide to seize this opportunity to invest in their future and contribute to the nation’s growth and development. The statement also highlighted that the portal can be accessed via and urged students to seek further information and assistance through NELFUND’s verified social media channels to avoid scams and fraudulent activities.

By facilitating easy access to educational loans, NELFUND aims to remove financial barriers, thereby promoting higher education and skill development among Nigerian youth. This initiative underscores the government’s dedication to nurturing a well-educated and skilled workforce, which is essential for the nation’s progress and prosperity.


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