The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Zaccheus Adedeji, revealed on Monday that the Nigerian Student Loan Scheme, recently signed into law by President Bola Tinubu, will be funded through the Education Tax Fund under FIRS.
Speaking at a briefing with State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Adedeji, accompanied by the Executive Secretary of the Student Loan Board, Dr. Akintunde Sawyerr, emphasized that the federal government opted to utilize the Education Tax to fund the Student Loan Scheme to ensure transparency and accountability to taxpayers.
The Student Loan Bill signed into law within President Tinubu’s first two weeks in office, aims to provide education loans to Nigerian students to prevent university lecturers from going on strikes, thereby enabling students to complete their programs within the stipulated duration.
Executive Secretary Dr. Akintunde Sawyerr assured the public that the process of applying for the loan would be transparent and conducted through a specially designed app. He highlighted that the law is designed to bridge the financial gap hindering students from pursuing further education.
Sawyerr explained the application process: “In applying for this loan, there is zero human intervention. The applicant will go to a portal, engage with that app, and input necessary information such as their JAMB number, date of birth, and national identity number (NIN) to confirm their Nigerian citizenship.”
He emphasized the importance of the Nigerian tax identification number (BVN) for financial inclusion, as the scheme aims to empower students and requires knowledge of their banking details for fund transfers.
“Nigerian taxpayers are funding the loan scheme, and the NIN helps verify and qualify them as such. BVN is needed for financial inclusion because this scheme will, at some point, empower students. We need to know they have bank accounts and where those accounts are to access the funds,” Sawyerr stated.
Additionally, the application process will include the student’s matriculation number and admission number, allowing for the direct transfer of tuition fees to the respective institutions upon approval of applications.
The Education Tax Fund mechanism is expected to streamline the disbursement process and ensure that students receive the financial support needed to pursue their education without interruptions.