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Students Loan Scheme will take off this January – FG

The federal government, on Wednesday, January 17, reaffirmed that the January target for the take off of the Students Loan Scheme is still very much intact.

Minister of State for Education, Yusuf Sununu, gave the affirmation while addressing journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Bola Tinubu at the State House, Abuja.

According to the Minister, that all is now set for the scheme to begin with the completion of the Student Loan Scheme’s website and conclusion on technical plans that would facilitate the kick off of the scheme.  

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He also stated that funds have been made available for the scheme in the 2024 Appropriation Act as well as the Supplementary Budget for 2023.

He noted: “January is a reality for the commencement of Student loan scheme in Nigeria, already the website is almost done. Application for beneficiaries will be online, criteria for students to get admission is that you must be a Nigerian and find yourself in a public school and application is also online which will be processed timely and you can access your loan within 30 days.

“Funds have been set aside in the 2024 appropriation act so as also the supplementary budget for 2023.”

Meanwhile, Sununu had earlier disclosed that the Ministry of Education presented a note to the council, prepared by the ministry and the National Universities Commission, 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 include documented education that is exportable across borders.

“We are all aware of the effort of Mr. President to increase access to education with greater number of graduates and secondary school leavers seeking to be graduates or undergraduates in our tertiary institutions.

“The Placement is becoming a serious issue and therefore, the ministry came up with a transnational education policy. What it means is that exchange of cross-fertilisation of ideas exchange that progressive education can be done across borders.

The documents provide a guideline whereby foreign institutions can collaborate with local institutions within the country or establish a campus within the country.

“Economically, transnational education would decrease the pressure on the naira as it exchanges with the dollar. This is the justification presented to the council, and the council graciously noted the presentation of the document so that it can be implemented to increase access to tertiary education in Nigeria.”

He said the scheme comes with no monetary cost to the FG. Instead, it will “attract funds to government.”

“So if you have a campus in Nigeria, you will get the certificate of that same institution. And the quality in terms of education and service delivery will be as standardised as that obtained in the parent institution.

“So to curb the issue of fake certification that we have been battling with, that is why we have sat down and come up with a policy document for you to establish a campus within the country; you must agree and be able to satisfy 100 per cent the provision of the guidelines, as rightly noted by the FEC.”

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