By Agnes Nsikak
The Federal Government on Wednesday insisted that its Student Loan Scheme is still on track to commence this month. This was as it said students who apply through its soon-to-be-completed website can access the facility within 30 days.
“January is a reality. Already the website is almost done. Application for beneficiaries is going to be online…and you can access your loan within 30 days,” said the Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu, who briefed State House Correspondents after the first Federal Executive Council meeting for 2024.
Declaring the 29th session of the annual Nigeria Economic Summit in Abuja open on October 23, 2023, the President said, “By January 2024, the new Students Loan Programme must commence. To the future of our children and students, we’re saying no more strikes!”
Sununu said the scheme was on course and would commence this month as promised.
He said,“The criteria for you is to get your admission, to be in Nigeria, and find yourself in a public school. If you are qualified, you have to apply online, which will be processed in a timely manner, and you can access your loan within 30 days.
“Fund has been set aside in the 2024 budget and the supplementary budget 2023. The essence is to increase and ease access to students who want to procure their higher education in Nigeria. And it’s also mainly for tertiary institutions.”
Earlier, Sununu disclosed that the Ministry of Education presented a note to the council, prepared by the ministry and the National Universities Commission ( NUC) , on the guidelines for implementing transnational education in Nigeria.
He explained that the scheme would allow foreign degree-awarding institutions the room to set base in Nigeria, employ local talent, admit local students and lessen the pressure on existing higher institutions of learning.
Explaining the rationale for this, he cited Nigeria as a member of the World Trade Organisation since 1995 and a signatory to the General Agreement of Trade in Services, which was signed in 1995. He argued that such trade services included documented education that was exportable across borders.