…see details of new Bill

●1. STUDENT LOAN FUNDING SOURCE

  • 1% of all collectable revenue by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to fund the scheme.

●2. STUDENT APPLICANTS CAN NO LONGER BE DISQUALIFIED BASED ON THEIR PARENT’S LOAN HISTORY

  • The hurdles of a guarantor, a parent’s debt profile and others in the old Act have been removed in the new Bill, thereby making it easier for the loan to be accessed.
  • It also removes the guarantor requirement so that students can apply for and receive loans subject to application and identity verification guidelines as provided by the Fund.
  • Applicants to the Fund may apply for loans to cover tuition and other fees payable to the school and maintenance allowance payable to the student.

●3. REMOVAL OF FAMILY INCOME THRESHOLD CONDITION

  • On eligibility criteria for applicants, the new Bill removes the family income threshold to enable Nigerian students to apply for loans and accept responsibility for repayment according to the Fund’s guidelines.
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●4. LOAN REPAYMENT (FORGIVENESS IN CASE OF DEATH OF BENEFICIARY)

  • On repayment of loans, the Bill indicates that beneficiaries of the Fund shall begin as soon as the beneficiary becomes employed in any capacity.
  • According to the bill, the Fund shall not initiate loan recovery efforts until two years after the completion of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme
  • A beneficiary may request an extension of enforcement action by the Fund by providing an affidavit indicating that he is not employed in any capacity and is not receiving any income.
  • It makes provision for loan forgiveness in the event of death or acts of God causing inability to repay.

●5. FALSE DECLARATION ATTRACTS 3 YEARS JAIL TERM

  • It provides out that any person who provides a false statement to the Fund under the loan repayment section is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

●6. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NIGERIA EDUCATION LOAN FUND (NELFUND)

  • The Bill Seeks to Establish the Nigerian Education Loan Fund as a Body Corporate to Receive, Manage and Invest Funds to Provide Loans to Nigerians for Higher Education, Vocational Training and Skills Acquisition and for Related Matters.
  • Establishment of the Nigeria Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) as a body corporate that can sue and be sued in its name and has the power to acquire, hold, and dispose of movable and immovable property for the purpose of its functions.
  • The Bill establishes a justice and fairness provision mandating the Board to ensure a minimum national spread of loans approved and disbursed in each financial year.
  • NELFUND can legally enter contracts, including loan agreements and may also initiate action to ensure repayment by beneficiaries.
  • It also empowers the Fund to provide loans to qualified Nigerians for tuition, fees, charges, and upkeep during their studies in approved tertiary education institutions and vocational and skills acquisition institutions in Nigeria.