Gov. Adeleke Sends Message to FG on Student Loans


The Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke on Tuesday, called on the Federal Government and other stakeholders to ensure that the Nigeria Education Loans Fund does not become a death trap for the beneficiaries.

Adeleke made this call in Osogbo while receiving the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Education Loan Fund, Akintunde Sawyer and his team, who paid him a courtesy call in his office at the state government secretariat.

Adeleke said the country must understudy other nations operating similar funds, adding that Nigeria must devise a measure that would prevent the initiative from becoming a debt trap.

He commended President Bola Tinubu for creating the fund as a response to challenges facing the student population, noting that the President had demonstrated political will by fast-tracking not only the establishment of the Fund but its effective takeoff.

Assuring the management of the Fund of Osun’s support, Adeleke further said “For us as a state, we have a responsibility to productively partner with the Federal Government for the benefit of our people. When it comes to bringing dividends of democracy to our people, we are blind to partisan politics. Our focus is the improvement of the lives of our people irrespective of where it is coming from.

“As a government, we see the Fund as a veritable platform to provide a lifeline for many indigent students in our various schools. The initiative promises to remove the pain and hardship experienced by many brilliant students. Again, we are elated by the prospects and opportunities for our students, hence our launching into the programme with all machinery of government.

“We are glad our efforts paid off with the enrolment of many Osun schools in the programme. It is gratifying to hear that Osun took the lead among comity of states in the selection and compliance process. Our next plan is to follow up by further deepening the preparedness of the selected schools for accessing opportunities available within the fund.”

On the ways to avoid challenges associated with the Funds in the countries already operating it, the governor said, “I must however call our attention to a lesson we must learn as a nation from the operation of the loans board. As a long-term resident of the United States, I am aware of the challenge of student loan debt. It has become a crisis of sorts. It has also become a subject of hot political debate. It has to do with huge student loan debt in the US

“We must as a nation avoid a similar debt trap. As we have the grace to understudy other nations operating similar funds, we must avoid the pitfalls. Our new system must integrate mechanisms to prevent similar experiences like what is happening in the US.

“I task the management of NELFUND to innovate within its mandate on how to make its operations sustainable. Debt trap must never be experienced in Nigeria’s students’ loan operations.”


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