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Student loan: Why we must avoid debt traps, Adeleke



Gov. Ademola Adeleke of Osun has urged the management of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) to avoid debt traps for students in the operation of the scheme.

Adeleke said this when the NELFUND management, led by its Managing Director, Mr Akintunde Sawyer, paid a courtesy visit to his office, on Tuesday, in Osogbo.

The governor said that the management of the loans board should take a cue from other countries operating it to avoid a pitfall.

“I must, however, call our attention to a lesson we must learn as a nation from the operation of the loans board.

“As a long term resident of the United States, I am aware of the challenge of student loans’ debt.

“It has become a crisis of sorts. It has also become a subject of hot political debate.

“It has to do with huge student loan debt in the United States.

“We must as a nation avoid a similar debt trap.

“As we have the grace to understudy other nations operating similar loan fund, we must avoid the pitfalls,” the governor said.

He said that the management of the board must integrate mechanisms to prevent similar experiences like what is happening in the United States.

Adeleke, commended President Bola Tinubu for demonstrating political will in tracking not only the establishment of the fund, but also its effective take off.

The governor, who noted that NELFUND was a veritable platform to provide a lifeline for many indigents students, said the scheme promises to remove the pain and hardship experienced by many brilliant students.

He said it was a thing of joy for him that the state took the lead among other states in selection and compliance process of the loan.

Earlier in his remarks, Akintunde said the loan fund was aimed at bridging the gap among those willing to go to tertiary institutions but without any means of doing so.

He said that NELFUND had been tasked with the responsibility of identifying indigent students and provide them with loans to further their education.

Akintunde disclosed that Osun had the highest number of applicants for the loans fund.

The NELFUND boss, who noted that the loan was interest free, said that students would repay the loan immediately they secured a job after their one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.

Victor Adeoti

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