The Federal Government has announced plans to create a dedicated app for the student loan scheme application process.
The government also assured that the soon-to-take-off Scheme will be devoid of human intervention as every step of the process would be totally automated on an application, specifically designed for the purpose.
The information was disclosed by Akintunde Sawyer, the Executive Secretary of the Student Loan Scheme Board, following a meeting with President Bola Tinubu in Abuja on Monday.
The development came months after President Bola Tinubu said the scheme would commence in January 2024.
“What I want to say to you is that this has been done with a lot of thoughts. So in application and in applying for this loan, there is zero human intervention. In other words, there is an App. The applicant will go on to a portal, they will engage with that App. They will have to put in certain pieces of information, which made them eligible, what is their JAMB number, and of course the tie in to that their date of birth.
“Further pieces of information include things like their national identity number (NIN), which confirms that they are Nigerians, this loan scheme is being paid for by Nigerian tax payers. So it’s for Nigerians and the NIN helps verify and qualify them as such. Their BVN, financial inclusion because this scheme in itself will at some point, be able to empower students so we need to know they have bank accounts.
“We need to know where their accounts are to be able to access those accounts. It will also have their matric number, admission number so that we can firmly establishment which institution they are going because one of the key elements of this is that once we’ve received applications and those applications are approved, the fees or the tuition requirements in terms of financials will be transferred directly to the institution.
“That in itself has benefits for the institution. Many students are struggling to pay their fees, their parents are struggling to pay their fees. There’s a very high dropout rate. So it’s one thing to get into the tertiary institution. It’s another thing to stay there for four years or for three years. This scheme seeks to help people access and remain until they qualify or graduate.
“So it’s a great scheme and every Nigerian is able to apply and clearly you know the sifting is that we’re going to look into support those who are most needy in the first instance. But in any event, education across the board is something that everybody should have a right to
“This Act effectively the intention behind it is to ensure that the reason for not being able to go on and further your education at a tertiary level, is not for the lack of finance. This law seeks to bridge the gap between desire to study and capacity to go further. It seeks to bridge that gap, one that is created by lack of finance, lack of funding.
“This intervention will affect the lives of many Nigerian youth because that’s usually the bracket as well to further their education. It will impact the lives of many Nigerian families because the onus to pay for education tends to fall on parents or families”, Dr Swayerr said.