Federal Student Loan Scheme Expands to 336 State Institutions, Over 60,000 Register”


The Federal Government of Nigeria has expanded its student loan scheme to include state tertiary institutions nationwide. This development was announced by the Managing Director of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), Dr. Akintunde Sawyerr, in Abuja on Thursday. Starting June 25, students in state institutions can apply for the loan facility as part of the scheme’s second phase.

According to data from various regulatory agencies, 336 state tertiary institutions, including universities, colleges of education, and technical colleges, will benefit from this scheme. Specifically, the National Universities Commission lists 63 state universities, while the National Board for Technical Education cites 54 state polytechnics, 57 monotechnics, and 111 technical colleges. Additionally, the National Commission for Colleges of Education notes 51 state colleges of education.

The first phase of the loan scheme, which began on May 24, saw over 60,000 students from federal institutions register on the application portal. This phase targeted approximately 1.2 million students across 226 federal universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, and technical colleges. However, only about 30,000 of these students have successfully completed their applications to date.

At a recent press conference, Dr. Sawyerr emphasized the urgency for state institutions to submit their students’ data promptly to facilitate a seamless application process. He also announced the launch of a skills acquisition loan component within six months, aiming to equip students with practical, market-relevant skills.

“Beyond financial assistance, NELFUND recognizes the profound importance of equipping our youth with practical, market-relevant skills. Six months from today, we will launch a comprehensive skills acquisition programme, providing training in various vocational and technical fields,” said Sawyerr.

President Bola Tinubu signed the Access to Higher Education Act into law on June 12, 2023, enabling indigent students to access interest-free loans for their education in Nigerian tertiary institutions. This new legislation repealed the previous Student Loan Act of 2023, removing the family income threshold to broaden access to loans.

The initial launch of the scheme faced delays, initially planned for September, but was postponed to accommodate an expansion directive from President Tinubu. This directive aimed to include vocational skills loans, highlighting the importance of skill acquisition alongside traditional academic qualifications.

As the scheme progresses, NELFUND has ensured that the application process is straightforward, with no physical contact required between applicants and the Fund. Students are encouraged to visit the NELFUND website and apply, provided their institutions have uploaded the necessary data.

“The loan application process has been streamlined to ensure easy access for all eligible students. Applicants can access online support for any questions or concerns during the application process,” Dr. Sawyerr added.

For more information and to apply, students should visit

Mike Ojo

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