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Repayment of student loan begins two years after NYSC

LawRepayment of student loan begins two years after NYSC


The Federal Government has said the recovery process from beneficiaries of the Nigeria Education Loan Scheme would commence two years after the National Youth Service Scheme.

The Executive Secretary, NELFund, Dr. Akintunde Sawyer, made this known during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.

On June 12, 2023, President Bola Tinubu signed the Access to Higher Education Act, 2023 into law, to enable indigent students to access interest-free loans for their educational pursuits in any Nigerian tertiary institution

However, Sawyer said that the reason for the two-year grace after NYSC was to afford the beneficiaries enough time to get a job and be stable before the repayment.

“The law provides that for students who go into paid employment, repayment will be two years after NYSC, but that does not mean that they cannot pay back before that time.

“However, if they don’t have a job two years after NYSC, we cannot compel them to pay. Where are they going to get the money from? So, we will help them and wait for them to be able to pay.

“There will be a register of those who have taken the loan and employers will have access to that register and see who has a loan.

“Once they see who has a loan, when they are employing the individual, they will be obliged through the payroll system to refund 10 per cent of the earnings of that individual back to the fund,’’ he said.

Sawyer said that the modalities of how the money would be rooted were still being worked out but the employer would be obliged to make those deductions for as long as that person is at work.

“If they are yet to secure employment or if they lose their jobs they are not obliged to pay.

“We are not trying to turn applicants into criminals. We are trying to help Nigerians who need better education to get it so that they can improve their lives and the country as a whole can see improvement in its social-economic development,’’ he said.

For those who might want to deliberately circumvent the process of repayment, Sawyerr said there must be a way the law will catch up with them.

He said this could be achieved whenever the defaulters need to assess loans or any facilities from commercial banks.

The NELFund secretary also called on Nigerians not to politicise the student loan scheme because of its immense advantages.

He said, “I want to implore Nigerians to support this programme however imperfect it might seem because we will not get to perfection unless we start with something.

“I want to implore Nigerians to avoid politicising an issue that is so important to assist the youths.

“I am saying this because whenever there is a policy drive or something that impacts many people, there will be some perceived losers.”

The FG had voted N50 billion in the 2024 budget for the implementation of its student loan scheme, as contained in the details of the 2024 budget appropriation.

Tinubu gave the assurance that the loan scheme would kick off in January.

He stated, “By January 2024, the new student loan programme must commence. To the future of our children and students, we are saying no more strikes.

“To address long-standing issues in the education sector, a more sustainable model of funding tertiary education will be implemented, including the Student Loan Scheme scheduled to become operational by January 2024.”

NAN



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