Nigeria’s recent student-loan bill signed by the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (PBAT) has opened up new opportunities for students seeking financial assistance for their education.
However, it is essential to understand the eligibility criteria to determine who can benefit from this initiative.
In this article, we will delve into the requirements for eligibility, as well as the terms and conditions for loan repayment.
These requirements include income limitations and the need for two guarantors who meet specific criteria.
1. Income Limitation:
To be eligible for the student loan, the applicant’s individual income or their family’s annual income must be less than 500,000 Naira per annum. This criterion ensures that the loan benefits students who genuinely require financial assistance to pursue their education.
2. Two Guarantors:
The student-loan program requires applicants to provide two guarantors who meet specific qualifications. The guarantors play a crucial role in assuring the lender of the applicant’s commitment to repay the loan. The following individuals are eligible to act as guarantors:
a) Civil Servants Not Below Level 12:
One of the guarantors must be a civil servant who holds a position not below level 12 in the federal or state civil service. This requirement ensures that the guarantor has a stable and reliable source of income to provide the necessary financial security for the loan.
b) Lawyer with at Least 10 Years Post Call:
Another eligible guarantor is a lawyer who has been called to the Nigerian Bar for at least ten years. This criterion emphasizes the need for an experienced legal professional who can vouch for the applicant’s credibility and commitment to loan repayment.
c) Judicial Officer or Justice of Peace:
The third eligible guarantor can be a judicial officer or a Justice of Peace. This requirement ensures that the guarantor has a position of authority within the legal system and can provide the necessary assurance of the applicant’s commitment to fulfilling their financial obligations.
3. Exclusion of Debtors to Palmpay, Kuda, and Other Organizations: One of the key factors that determine eligibility for the student-loan program is a clean financial record. Individuals who owe outstanding debts to organizations such as Palmpay, Kuda, or any other relevant entities will be ineligible to benefit from the loan. It is crucial to settle any outstanding obligations before applying for the student loan.
4. Exclusion of Individuals Convicted of Felonies or Offenses Involving Dishonesty or Fraud: To ensure that the student-loan program benefits deserving individuals, those convicted of felonies or offenses involving dishonesty or fraud will be excluded from eligibility. This criterion emphasizes the importance of maintaining a good character and ethical conduct throughout one’s academic and personal life.
5. Exclusion of Individuals Found Guilty of Exam Malpractice: Academic integrity is of utmost importance when considering eligibility for the student loan. Those found guilty of exam malpractice by any school authority will be ineligible to benefit from the loan program. Upholding honesty and ethical conduct in examinations is crucial to maintaining the integrity of the education system.
Repayment Terms and Conditions:
The repayment period for the student loan will commence two years after the completion of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program.
Repayment will occur through direct deduction from the beneficiary’s salary at a rate of 10%, facilitated by the employer. This approach ensures a convenient and hassle-free repayment process for loan recipients.
For self-employed individuals, the repayment process involves remitting 10% of their total monthly profits. This arrangement accommodates the unique circumstances of self-employment and ensures that beneficiaries contribute to loan repayment based on their income.
The student-loan bill signed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Nigeria offers valuable financial support to deserving students pursuing higher education. However, it is essential to meet the eligibility criteria, which include having a clean financial record, maintaining good character, and upholding academic integrity.
The repayment terms, designed to ensure convenience for beneficiaries, involve direct deductions from salaries or remittance of a percentage of self-employed individuals’ profits.
By adhering to these eligibility criteria and understanding the repayment process, students can leverage the student-loan program to pursue their educational aspirations without excessive financial burdens. This initiative serves as a significant step toward fostering a more inclusive and accessible education system in Nigeria.