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Osun tops other states in education loan fund uptake By John Dike

Osun tops other states in education loan fund uptake

Managing Director of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), Mr. Sanya Akintunde on courtesy call to Gov. Adeleke
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Osun State has been ranked as the first state in Nigeria with the highest number of students who have applied for the Education Loan Fund initiated by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

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The Managing Director of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), Mr. Sanya Akintunde, revealed this while being hosted by Osun State Governor Ademola Adeleke at the Governor’s office in Abere, Osogbo, the Osun State capital.

He said that according to current data received by his office, Osun State has the highest number of applicants for the student loan scheme.

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He attributed this feat to the commitment of the current administration of Governor Adeleke, whom he described as one of the governors who have taken bold steps to address the challenges confronting the education sector in the state.

Akintunde revealed that the application portal had been open to all intending students and mentioned that the education scheme would go a long way in putting Nigeria on the right footing among other countries of the world in terms of education.

According to him, the education scheme has been structured to avoid the “who you know” syndrome, adding that the exercise would be free from corruption.

“The Education Loan Fund is not for any political gains or for those of us saddled with the responsibility to make any gain but to ensure that many poor Nigerian students and all intending students benefit from the scheme,” he said.

While welcoming the Education Loan Fund management to Osun State, Governor Adeleke commended President Tinubu for his wisdom in initiating the scheme, which he said would enable many poor Nigerians to be educated and become better citizens.

“I am elated to host the leadership and management of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund in my office. I warmly welcome you to Osun, the state of the living spring.

“We express our appreciation to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for creating this fund as a response to the many challenges facing our student population. We commend the President for demonstrating political will by fast-tracking not only the establishment of the fund but its effective take-off.

“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 the 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 program with all machinery of government.

“We are glad our efforts paid off with the enrollment of many Osun schools in the program. It is gratifying to hear that Osun took the lead among a 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.

“Our gratitude also goes to the management of NELFUND for making the take-off so efficient and for the fairness manifested during the selection process. We have strong faith in the capacity of the fund to continue on the path of openness and equity.

“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 due to the 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 traps must never be experienced in Nigeria’s student loan operations.

“We appreciate the recognition of our modest efforts by stakeholders. As a government, we also applaud Mr. President for this laudable initiative.”

The highlight of the event was the presentation of an Award of Excellence to Governor Adeleke by the management of NELFUND.

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