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Beneficiaries of student loans to begin payment two years after NYSC —Govt



Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFund), Dr. Akintunde Sawyer, has disclosed that beneficiaries of the Nigeria Education Loan Scheme would begin the payment process two years after completing the mandatory National Youth Corps Service (NYSC) scheme.

Sawyer who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja, said the reason for the two-year grace after serving was to ‘afford the beneficiaries enough time to get a job and be stable before the repayment.’

The NELFund Secretary further explained that a mechanism has been put in place to deal with beneficiaries who might want to deliberately circumvent the process of 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,” Sawyer said.

“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.

“But 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.’’

While pleading with Nigerians not to make the student loan a matter of politics, Sawyer said the programme is meant to assist indigent student get education.

“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.”

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