Student Loan Scheme’ll Be Funded With Education Tax — FG

Zacch Adedeji

The Federal Government has unveiled plans to finance the recently initiated Student Loan Scheme using education tax, in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

Zacch Adedeji, FIRS Chairman announced this on Monday during a briefing at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, alongside the Executive Secretary of the Student Loan Board, Akintunde Sawyerr.

He emphasized that incorporating the education tax fund into the scheme allows the government to be accountable to taxpayers.

“…that is why the education tax fund is one of the sources of funding that we will use to execute this programme.

“This is in fulfilment of Mr President’s promise that we will make education accessible to all. This is one of the schemes where we will be applying the education tax that we collect.

“It is a way of being accountable to the taxpayer. Because the essence of education tax is to consolidate and restore education integrity and quality, in fulfilling that part of the Act, education tax fund is one of the sources of funding that we will use to execute this programme,” he said.

Sawyerr, on his part, assured that the application process for the loan would be streamlined, eliminating human intervention, as all actions would be taken through a dedicated app.

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He itemised the application process, saying prospective candidates must avail their Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) registration number, Date of Birth, National Identification Number and Biometric Verification Number, amongst others.

“The applicant will go on to a portal, or they will engage with the app. They will have to put in certain pieces of information that make them eligible, such as their JAMB number and, of course, the tie-in to their date of birth.

“Further pieces of information include their NIN, which confirms that they are Nigerians. This loan scheme is being paid for by Nigerian taxpayers. So, it’s for Nigerians and the NIN helps verify and qualify them as such.

“Their BVN is for 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 and admission number so that we can firmly establish which institution they are going to because one of the key elements of this is that once we have 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,” The Executive Secretary explained.