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FG Unveils Student Loan Application Portal on May 24: Enhance your experience with this privilege.

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FG opens student loan application portal May 24

Nigerian Education Loan Fund Sets May 24, 2024, as Official Date for Student Loan Application Portal Launch.

In a statement released by Nasir Ayantogo, the media lead for NELFund, the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, announced the opening of the student loan application portal on May 24, 2024. This milestone signifies President Bola Tinubu’s dedication to promoting accessible and inclusive education for all Nigerian students.

President Tinubu Fulfills Campaign Promise, Signs Student Loan Act into Law

In a significant move, President Bola Tinubu signed the Student Loan Bill into law on June 12, 2023, fulfilling one of his campaign promises to liberalize the funding of education, according to Dele Alake, a member of the then Presidential Strategy Team.

The Act, popularly known as the Students Loan Law, established the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) as a corporate body responsible for processing all loan requests, grants, disbursement, and recovery. The fund aims to provide interest-free loans to eligible Nigerian students to cover tuition, fees, charges, and living expenses during their studies in approved tertiary education institutions and vocational training centers within Nigeria.
The Act addresses several challenges faced by students in accessing higher education by removing barriers such as family income requirements, the need for guarantors, and disqualification based on parents’ loan history. It also extends loan eligibility to students pursuing vocational and technical skills development programs in government-owned institutions.
To ensure sustainable implementation, the Act stipulates that loan recovery efforts will commence two years after the completion of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program. The legislation also provides for debt forgiveness in the event of death or acts of God causing an inability to repay.
The implementation of the Student Loan Act is set to commence in January 2024, as announced by President Tinubu at the 29th National Economic Summit. This move aims to address funding challenges faced by public tertiary institutions and prevent further industrial actions that have disrupted academic activities in the past.
Initially slated for a September launch, the government’s scheme faced multiple delays, culminating in an indefinite postponement in early March. The Presidency attributed the setbacks to President Tinubu’s directive to broaden the program’s scope to encompass vocational skill loans.
Following a briefing from the NELFund team, led by Minister of State for Education, Dr. Yusuf Sununu, on January 22, President Tinubu instructed the Fund to provide interest-free loans to Nigerian students interested in skill development programs.
This decision stemmed from the President’s recognition of the importance of accommodating individuals opting for skill acquisition over traditional university education, emphasizing the equal significance of vocational skills alongside academic qualifications. President Tinubu emphasized the inclusive nature of the program, highlighting the diverse talents and interests of young Nigerians across various fields.

President Tinubu Emphasizes Inclusivity in Skill Development Programs

President Tinubu emphasized the inclusive nature of the program, highlighting the diverse talents and interests of young Nigerians across various fields. He underscored the broad scope of the initiative, stating,
“This is not limited to aspiring doctors, lawyers, and accountants but extends to individuals eager to contribute to nation-building through their skilled craftsmanship”.
In alignment with this vision, President Tinubu directed NELFund to actively pursue avenues for integrating skill development programs, recognizing that not all individuals seek a traditional university education.
The wait is over Students can now break free from financial barriers and pursue their academic dreams through the newly launched NELFund portal. This innovative platform offers a seamless and user-friendly experience, allowing students to submit their loan applications with ease.
The Nigerian government is urging all eligible students to seize this opportunity to invest in their future and contribute to the nation’s growth and development.
To get started, students can simply visit the portal at www.nelf.gov.ng and begin their application process today.
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Federal Government Directs N150,000 Grant to Each Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprise (MSME) Owner

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Federal Government Directs N150,000 Grant to Each Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprise (MSME) Owner

Vice President Kashim Shettima Reveals President Tinubu’s Directive on N150,000 Grant for MSMEs

Vice President Kashim Shettima announced yesterday that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has mandated a federal grant of N150,000 for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). This disclosure was made during the launch of the 3rd edition of the Expanded National MSMEs Clinic in Ado Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State.

The Vice President clarified that the N150,000 is an outright grant with no repayment required. He stated,

“I am pleased to share that Mr. President has directed me to ensure that all outstanding exhibiting MSMEs at the Clinic today receive a grant of 150,000 Naira each. This is an outright grant, and the beneficiaries will not need to repay it. We extend our gratitude to our partners for their unwavering support.”

The Expanded National MSME Clinics aim to ease business operations in Nigeria through forums held across different cities, providing immediate solutions to challenges faced by MSMEs. The first two editions were launched in Benue and Ogun States earlier this year.

Upon arrival in Ado-Ekiti, Vice President Shettima, welcomed by Governor Biodun Oyebanji and other dignitaries, inaugurated the Ekiti State Ultra-Modern Fashion and Garment Hub at the Odua Textile Complex. He also inspected the Adire Ekiti Hub, a project by the Ekiti State First Lady.

At the Trade Fair Complex on Old Iyin Road, Shettima launched the third edition of the Expanded MSME Clinics and hinted at upcoming editions in Borno and Enugu States, culminating in the National MSME Awards in the FCT on June 27, 2024, in honor of the United Nations World MSME Day.

Shettima emphasized the Tinubu administration’s commitment to expanding the labor market and supporting small businesses, which he described as essential to community stability and economic transition. “Small businesses are the lifelines of communities across the nation and a strong pillar of stability during this critical phase of our economic transition,” he said.

Regarding the Ultra-Modern MSME Fashion Hub, Shettima highlighted its potential to create 48,000 jobs annually and its capacity to produce a wide range of fashion items, including military uniforms. He noted,

“It boasts the capacity to produce a wide range of fashion gear, including military uniforms, and rivals any facility in the world. Equipped with modern-day machinery and technology, this hub holds immense potential for job creation, with projections estimating an average of 48,000 jobs annually.”

Shettima expressed regret that time constraints prevented the inauguration of the fully equipped ICT hub in Erinmope, about two hours from the state capital. However, President Tinubu approved that Governor Oyebanji and other officials facilitate the commissioning at the earliest convenience, with the hub expected to create 10,000 jobs in the ICT sector. Additionally, Tinubu approved the establishment of another ICT facility in Ado Ekiti, slated for completion within 90 days.

The Vice President conveyed President Tinubu’s gratitude to the government and people of Ekiti State for hosting the 3rd expanded National MSME Clinic, describing it as a revitalization of the MSME sub-sector. Governor Oyebanji thanked the Vice President for his support and called for unity among the political class in Ekiti to attract further benefits for the state.

Senate Leader Opeyemi Bamidele praised the collaboration between federal and state governments and announced plans to allocate constituency project funds to MSME development. Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr. Dele Alake, assured Ekiti residents of the federal government’s commitment to their welfare during economic restructuring.

State Commissioner for Investment, Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives, Hon Omotayo Adeola, thanked the federal government for supporting small businesses, leading to the establishment of the first garment hub in the state.

During his visit to the Palace of the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, HRM Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe, Shettima commended the region for its honor and integrity and the royal father for maintaining peace and supporting President Tinubu’s administration.

The Ewi of Ado-Ekiti thanked President Tinubu for his commitment to Ekiti State, highlighted by the launch of the Expanded National MSME Clinics and the commissioning of the fashion and garment hub.

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Federal Government Initiative: Empowering 5000 NYSC Entrepreneurs with N10 Million Each

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FG to empower 5000 entrepreneurial NYSC members with N10 million each

The Federal Government has unveiled a groundbreaking initiative to support a minimum of 5,000 National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members with N10 million each to kickstart their entrepreneurial endeavors post-NYSC service.

Dr. Jamila Ibrahim, the Minister of Youth Development, revealed this empowering initiative during the inaugural meeting of the NYSC management with heads of Corps Producing Institutions (CPI) in Nigeria, held in Abuja on Monday.

Dr. Jamila Ibrahim, the Minister of Youth Development, emphasized that this funding initiative aligns with the upcoming NYSC reforms and is distinct from the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund program scheduled for 2024.

During her speech, the Minister revealed plans to inaugurate a team tasked with reviewing, restructuring, and reforming the NYSC. She highlighted that the core focus of these reforms will be instilling an entrepreneurship mindset and making skills development the primary objective of the program.

“Though that is already part of the objectives carried out by the scheme, the aim is to partner with it to strengthen the mandate,” she stated.

The Minister expressed her vision for the NYSC program to become not only self-sustaining but also revenue-generating within the next five years. To achieve this, she announced plans to institutionalize the NYSC ventures as an investment and asset management outfit.

“So, we envision a future where the NYSC programme is not only self-sustaining, but also a revenue generating programme within the next five years,” she said.

The minister explained that this initiative would allow the Federal Government to effectively utilize and manage the extensive assets of the NYSC, making strategic investments across various sectors. She highlighted the targeted sectors for these investments as agriculture, manufacturing, garment making, communication, and digital banking.

Dr. Jamila Ibrahim emphasized that this funding initiative reflects the current administration’s unwavering commitment to investing in youth-led entrepreneurial ventures. She positioned it as a crucial step towards actively involving young people in Nigeria’s progress towards becoming a trillion-dollar economy.

“The National Youth Skills programme will play a pivotal role in these reforms. While typically a 12-month programme this year, we’ll start a six months abridged version,” she announced.

The Minister expressed her expectation that the ventures funded through this program will emerge from various strategic sectors, driving innovation and economic growth.

“We expect the ventures funded to emerge from this programme in various strategic sectors driving innovation and economic growth,” she added.

Ibrahim urged the participants, who are the custodians of higher education in Nigeria, to embrace the profound responsibility of nurturing the intellectual, moral, and civic capacity of the nation’s youth. She emphasized the importance of their role in shaping the future leaders and entrepreneurs who will contribute to Nigeria’s economic transformation.

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National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF): FG Commits N110bn to Empower Young Nigerians

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National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF)

About National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF)

The National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) is not a form of grant or donation. Instead, it represents a financial responsibility that must be repaid with interest at a rate determined by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Over the period spanning 2020 to 2023, the NYIF aims to interact with 500,000 young individuals each year, fostering financial inclusion and economic empowerment among Nigeria’s youth.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has pledged N110 billion to empower Nigerian youths through the National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF). This substantial investment marks a significant stride towards fostering youth entrepreneurship and innovation across the nation.

Dr. Bio-Ibrahim underscored that the NYIF transcends mere financial assistance; it serves as a dynamic catalyst bridging the divide between youthful aspirations and tangible opportunities. This fund is strategically positioned to reshape Nigeria’s economic terrain by directly investing in the boundless potential of its youth.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a comprehensive package of measures to complement the financial injection. Key components include:

  • Embedding Skills and Entrepreneurship Development: Directly integrating skills and entrepreneurship development into the NYIF program to equip young Nigerians with the tools they need to succeed.
  • Interim Coordinating Unit: Establishing a temporary coordinating unit to oversee projects until the permanent National Youth Fund is established through legislative processes.
  • NEXTGEN Bank Investment: Allocating N5 billion to the forthcoming National Youth Development Bank, a groundbreaking initiative designed to provide tailored financial solutions for young entrepreneurs and youth-led businesses.

National Youth Development Bank (NEXTGEN Bank)

The NEXTGEN Bank represents a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Youth Development, the Bank of Industry, and private sector partners. This innovative initiative is dedicated to providing financial solutions specifically designed to meet the unique needs of young entrepreneurs and youth-led businesses, empowering them to thrive and contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth.

With an initial capital injection of N10 billion, the NEXTGEN Bank will offer a comprehensive suite of support beyond just loans and equity. Young entrepreneurs and youth-led businesses will have access to a range of crucial support services, including:

  • Tailored Development Programs
  • Expert Guidance and Mentorship
  • Connections to a Vast Network of Resources

The Bank of Industry will contribute N2.5 billion towards the NEXTGEN Bank, while private sector partners will match this investment with an additional N2.5 billion. Notably, the bank will be managed by the private sector, ensuring efficient and effective operations that cater to the unique needs of young business owners.

Investing in Youth Development Centers Nationwide

The government has made a firm commitment to revitalizing youth development centers across Nigeria. These centers will be reimagined as dynamic hubs offering a diverse range of programs and services, including:

  • Technical Skills Training
  • Digital Skills Development
  • Creative Skills Workshops
  • Social Engagement Initiatives
  • Political Engagement Opportunities
  • Cultural Enrichment Activities
  • Mental Health Support Services
  • Substance Abuse Prevention Programs

By transforming these centers into vibrant spaces for holistic youth development, the government aims to provide young Nigerians with the tools, resources, and support they need to thrive and contribute positively to society.

Working Together for Youth Empowerment

The successful implementation of these initiatives requires a collaborative effort involving the government, private sector, civil society organizations, and young people themselves. By working together, we can create an enabling environment that nurtures the talents and aspirations of Nigeria’s youth, ultimately driving sustainable economic and social progress for the nation.

Dr. Bio-Ibrahim emphasized that these groundbreaking initiatives represent just the first step in the government’s comprehensive strategy to address the multifaceted challenges faced by Nigerian youth. The Minister underscored the government’s unwavering commitment to empowering young people and creating an environment conducive to their growth and success.

The Minister’s remarks serve as a clarion call for unity and collective action in support of youth empowerment. With the government leading the charge through the NYIF, NEXTGEN Bank, and revitalized youth development centers, the stage is set for a transformative era of youth-led development in Nigeria. As stakeholders from all sectors unite behind this common cause, the future looks brighter than ever for the young people who hold the key to Nigeria’s prosperity.

The Ministry of Youth Development calls upon all stakeholders to collaborate closely in achieving the outcomes that Nigerian youth rightfully deserve. The allocation towards the National Youth Investment Fund and its associated programs marks a pivotal advancement in empowering the youth and cultivating a promising future for Nigeria.
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