Connect with us

News

Federal Govt Explains How Students Will Access Loans, Directs Inclusion of Skill Development

Published

on

The process for accessing the student loan programme of the Federal Government will be seamless, officials said yesterday.

According to them, there will be no human contact. Everything will be automated, they said.

Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Students Loan Board, Dr Akintunde Sawyerr, who spoke to reporters at the Aso Villa after meeting with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, explained that funds for successful students will be transferred to the schools’ accounts.

The scheme has been widened to accommodate young Nigerians interested in acquiring skills outside tertiary institutions.

Sawyerr spoke to reporters along with the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Dr Zacch Adedeji.

Dr. Adedeji said his involvement at yesterday’s meeting with the president was because the education tax is a major source of funding for the loan scheme.

Sawyerr explained that the loan scheme would enable every applicant to pick a career trajectory, rather than being forced to do something else because of a lack of funds to acquire the requisite education.

He believes the programme would help to stem the dangerous journey undertaken by Nigerian youths across the Sahel to Europe in search of a better life.

Sawyerr said: “This has been done with a lot of thought. So in application and in applying for this loan, there is zero human intervention. In other words, there is an App.

“Every interested Nigerian will go on to a portal and engage the App. He/she will have to put in certain pieces of information, which will make them eligible. It will include their UTME (Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination) number and of course their date of birth.

“Further pieces of information include things like their National Identification Number (NIN), which confirms that they are Nigerians.

“The fund is going to come mostly from Nigerian taxpayers. So, it’s for Nigerians.

“The NINs will help us to verify and qualify them for the loan. Their BVN will also be required.

“This scheme will at some point, be able to empower students so we need to know that they have bank accounts.

“The applicants will also have to provide their admission numbers so that we can firmly establish which institution they are going to because one of the key elements of this is that once we’ve received applications and those applications are approved, the fees or the tuition requirements will be transferred directly to their institutions.

“That in itself has benefits for the institutions. Many students are struggling to pay tuition, their parents are struggling to pay. There’s a very high dropout rate.

“It is one thing to get into a tertiary institution and another to stay there for four or more years. This scheme seeks to help people access and remain in school until they graduate.

“Nigerians are qualified to apply and clearly you know there will be sifting. We are going to highlight those who are mostly in need in the first instance. Education is something that everybody should have a right to.

“The intention of the Act establishing the scheme is to ensure that the reason for one not being able to further his/her education at tertiary level is eliminated.

“The law also seeks to bridge the gap between the desire to study and the capacity to go further.

“This intervention will affect the lives of many Nigerian youths positively. It will impact many Nigerian families because the duty to pay for education falls on parents.”

Explaining further Adedeji said: “This is one of the schemes that we will be applying the Education Tax that we will collect.

“So, this is a way of being accountable to the taxpayer because the essence of Education Tax is to consolidate and restore education integrity and quality.”

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, said in a statement that President Tinubu directed an expansion of the focus of the Nigeria Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) to include students interested in skill-development programmes.

Ngelale added that Tinubu pointed out that it was important for the scheme to be extended to such persons because skill acquisition is as important as obtaining undergraduate and graduate academic qualifications.

Ngelale’s statement reads: “This (loan scheme) is not an exclusive programme. It is catering to all of our young people. Young Nigerians are gifted in different areas.

“This is not only for those who want to be doctors, lawyers, and accountants. It is also for those who aspire to use their skilled and trained hands to build our nation.

“NELFUND has been directed to explore all opportunities to inculcate skill-development programmes because not everybody wants to go through a full university education.

“No matter how economically challenged you are, accredited and qualified students will and must have access to this loan to advance their education in higher institutions.

“There is no compromise in our commitment to the disadvantaged citizens of this nation.”

News

Lagos Agog As Olusegun Aderiye Marks 70th Birthday Anniversary In Style

Published

on

By

The mega city of Lagos was thrown into celebration mood as an Erudite Scholar and a quintessential broadcast journalist Rev. Dr. Olusegun Aderiye celebrated his 70th PLATINUM jubilee anniversary and book launch in style.

The event which took place on Wednesday February 14th 2024 at Airport Ikeja Lagos stated with a Public Lecture titled, “The Imperative of Peace in a Troubled World” taken by Amb. (Dr) Martins Uhomoibhi (Fmr PS, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria) and the formal unveiling of: “Journey to Stardom” An Autobiography of the celebrant.

Rev Dr. Olusegun Solomon Aderiye was born on 14 February in Ekiti State, then Western Region, Nigeria.

He attended Methodist Primary School, Apaara, Oyo, 1958, Ifaki Grammar School, 1968-72, University of Lagos, 1977 and University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) 1981.

Olusegun was the Chief State House Correspondent, Nigerian Television Authority, 1985-89; Head, Current Affairs Department, African Independent Television, since 1998; Secretary, Nigerian Television Authority Ibadan Chapel.

He was a co-author of ECOMOG, Gabumo Publishing, Lagos in 1992.

Dr. Aderiye Creative Works includes Kilo Ndan Bi Wura, 1978, Awamaridi, 1979, Maje Nse 1981, My Lord is Good, 1983, What only God can do, 2023.

His National Awards are Nigeria Television Authority’s Reporter of the Year, 1983 and Nigeria Union of Journalists, since 1978.

 

The special guest of honour of the event was General Ibrahim Babangida GCFR (Former President of Nigeria) and Chief Bode George (Former Military Governor of Ondo State).

Dignitaries present at the event were Lagos state Governor ably represented by his commissioner of information and strategy Gbenga Omotoso, Speaker, Lagos State House of representative represented by one of the honourable members of the house, Steve Ogundipe.

Others were (Dr) Martin Uhomoibhi. Amb (Dr) Yemi Farounbi, Nigeria’s former Ambassador to the Philippines. The event was indeed an array of who is who in Nigeria.

 

The chairman in his remark describes the celebrant as a fine gentleman and a highly efficient, courageous and diligent media practitioner with a high sense of national patriotism and an unrepentant nationalist in broadcast journalism.

He prayed that God Almighty should continue to shower Dr. Aderiye with divine wisdom, guidance, good health, protection, prosperity and longevity, so he could continue to contribute his quota to national development in the years ahead.

Dr. Aderiye in his speech appreciates his lovely wife who shared the same birthday with him Deaconess Mary Kehinde Oluwakemi and family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances both in the physical and spiritual realms for their love, friendship and kind support all through these years.

He also thanks the VIPs, relations, friends and acquaintances who have come to honour his invitation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

News

London Operation: Air Peace, Norse Atlantic Sign ACMI Agreement On Charter

Published

on

By

Norse Atlantic Airways, yesterday, announced that it entered into an agreement with Air Peace for an ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance) charter service.

This collaboration, according to the statement made available to LEADERSHIP, marks the beginning of a strategic partnership aimed at providing seamless air travel solutions between London and Lagos, Nigeria.

Commencing in April 2024, the ACMI charter will operate four times a week, offering travellers convenient and reliable transportation options between these key destinations.

Norse Atlantic Airways will be using slots at London Gatwick allocated to Air Peace to facilitate this new route.

“We are thrilled to be working with Air Peace to launch this ACMI charter service between London Gatwick and Lagos. This collaboration represents an exciting opportunity to leverage our expertise in charter operations to deliver a reliable and high-quality service to Air Peace and their customers,” said Bjørn Tore Larsen, CEO and Founder of Norse Atlantic Airways.

“Air Peace is delighted to have signed this partnership deal with Norse Atlantic Airways for the commencement of our London service. As we make a foray into the European market, we are confident that this strategic partnership will further position us to surpass the expectations of our customers, offering them superior air travel experience while we continue to optimise our operations for more innovative service delivery”, stated Allen Onyema, Chairman/CEO, Air Peace.

Norse Atlantic and Air Peace will continue to discuss potential longer-term partnerships between the two airlines to explore avenues for further collaboration and expansion in the future.

 

Continue Reading

News

N30bn To Govs: ‘My Statement Unverified’, Akpabio Recants

“The President of the Senate recognizes and appreciates the current efforts of the governors at ameliorating the adverse effects of the current inclement socio-economic environment and therefore invites more hands on the plow to complement the renewed hope agenda.”

Published

on

By

President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has recanted his claim that state governors received an additional N30 billion from the Federal Government to address the biting economic hardship in the country by the distribution of palliatives to Nigerians.

Recall that Akpabio made the claim on Wednesday, February 22 while the Senate considered the report of its joint Committees on Finance, Agriculture/Food Sufficiency, Banking and Insurance.

The committee had interfaced with the economic management team of the government, led by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, to find out what the government had done to tackle hunger, food inflation, a free-falling naira exchange rate to the US dollar, among others.

In the course of deliberations on the matter by senators, Akpabio had repeatedly stated without mincing word that each state governor received an additional N30bn from the centre to address the challenges, besides the regular allocations the states draw from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).

“Each of the 36 states received N30bn; they received N30bn”, he kept saying.

However, 24 hours later, governors began refuting the claim.

Prominent among them was the Governor of Akpabio’s own state, Akwa Ibom, Pastor Umo Eno, who not only said such an amount was not received by the state but also added that it was possible the Senate President was speaking with prophetic expectations.

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State also said much, dismissing Akpabio’s claim.

On Monday night, Akpabio’s office finally summoned the courage to recant his statement, saying that he acted on unverified information.

His Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Hon. Eseme Eyiboh, in a statement on Monday night, appealed for calm, saying that Akpabio held the governors in high esteem.

Eyiboh’s full statement is reproduced below: “The office of the President of the Senate has been drawn to various misconceptions in the public domain on the statement credited to the President of the Senate in plenary of Wednesday, February 21, 2024, during the presentation of a report of the joint Committees on Finance, Agriculture/Food Sufficiency, Banking and Insurance. During the session the President of the Senate commented on the payment of an unverified cumulative sum of about N30b to the sub-national governments by the Federal Government for various interventions to ameliorate the food situation of our citizens at the sub-national governments.

“The unfortunate conjectures to take away the kernel in the material facts of FAAC payment are rather regretted. In considering the well-intended motive of urging state governments to collaborate with the Federal government of President Bola Tinubu to facilitate strategic interventions to mitigate the prevailing economic situation in the country remains the underpinning motivation in the comment.

“The President of the Senate is not oblivious to the fact that State governments are functional partners in all the efforts of the current administration of President Bola Tinubu and are also valuable Stakeholders’ in the various legislative engagements of the legislature in creating the nexus between the legislature and the people.

“The President of the Senate has always demonstrated commitment to team building and shall not do less in the circumstance. He therefore urges the sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.

“The President of the Senate recognizes and appreciates the current efforts of the governors at ameliorating the adverse effects of the current inclement socio-economic environment and therefore invites more hands on the plow to complement the renewed hope agenda.”

Continue Reading

Trending

%d bloggers like this: