NELFUND Says BVN Mandatory For Student Loans, Targets 1.2 Million Beneficiaries

The Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) has said that Nigerian students will need to present their National Identification Number (NIN) and Bank Verification Number (BVN) to access student loans.

In addition to these requirements, the students are also required to provide their Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination registration number. The Managing Director of NELFUND, Mr Akintunde Sawyerr, made this known during an interactive session with members of the Education Writers Association of Nigeria (EWAN) in Lagos.

He also disclosed that the Fund is targeting about 1.2 million beneficiaries in the first phase of the loan disbursements.

“About 1.2 million Nigerian students in tertiary institutions and government-recognized skill acquisition centers will be among the first batch of beneficiaries,” he said.

Source of the fund 

According to the managing director, the money to fund the loan scheme is 1% of the revenue generated by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) annually.

He said that the management of the loan scheme would verify applications and attached requirements to ascertain eligibility. He said that disbursement would be in two segments.

“The school fee will be paid to the institution on behalf of the student and the stipend directly to the student’s account,” he said.

He added that financially indigent undergraduates, who need the loan for their education, are free to apply on a designed website and must provide their matriculation details. He said that the beneficiaries would be expected to start servicing the loans when they would secure jobs or set up businesses.

Recall that President Bola Tinubu earlier this month signed the newly revised Student Loans Re-enactment Bill, 2024 into law. The development followed the Senate and the House of Representatives independently evaluating the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund’s findings.

The executive bill, known as “A Bill for an Act to repeal the Students Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act, 2023, and to Enact the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Bill, 2024,” aims to create the Nigerian Education Loan Fund.

NIN as important national document 

Although Sawyerr said that the requirements for accessing the loan were to confirm eligibility, the inclusion of the NIN is part of the government’s broad policy of ensuring that every Nigerian is captured in the NIN database.

While registration for the number had been slow for years until the government made it mandatory for all telephone users to link their lines with their NIN, number of enrolment is still around 105 million as of now, according to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

Earlier this week, the Head of Corporate Communications at the Commission, Mr. Kayode Adegoke, said the target of NIMC is to ensure that every Nigerian has the NIN in the next one to two years.

“As of today, over 105 million NIN have been issued to Nigerians and legal residents. We want to assure Nigerians that within the next one or two years, we will reach our target of enrolling all Nigerians,” he said.

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