Connect with us


Nigerian government to use education tax to support student loan program- FIRS Chairman



By Hannah Nathan, Warri

According to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Education Tax Fund will be used to finance the Student Loan Scheme in Nigeria, according to the government.

This was disclosed on Monday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja during a meeting with State House Correspondents by FIRS Chairman Zacch Adedeji and Executive Secretary of the Board Dr. Akintunde Sawyerr.

Adedeji claims that one method the government can answer to the nation’s taxpayers is through the implementation of the Education Tax Fund in the plan.

In his statements, Sawyerr further guaranteed that there would be no human involvement in the loan application process because all actions would be conducted through an app created especially for that purpose.

He clarified that the government was anxious to make sure that young Nigerians did not miss out on a university degree due to a lack of funding for their studies.

He claimed that the introduction of the student loan program will free up Nigerians to choose the career path they choose, instead of forcing them to do something different because they couldn’t afford the necessary schooling.

Sawyer further said that the financing would contribute to halting the perilous treks made by young Nigerians over the Sahel to Europe in pursuit of a better life.

In addition, he said that successful applicants’ education fees would be sent straight to their establishments, adding that although all Nigerians were qualified to apply only those who were most in need would receive the loan.

Sawyerr said, “It’s a pleasure to be here today to brief you on the impending launch of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, which is the bedrock that will operationalize the student loan scheme in Nigeria. It’s a great opportunity to help solve an age-old problem that has been on in this dear nation of ours for quite some time.

“There are many, many people with great capacity and with the desire to improve their education. And usually, the place where that falls is when they get into the tertiary base. At that point they have several options, either to go into the world of work with qualifications that are not necessarily optimal for them or to find ways of funding that tertiary space.

“When I say tertiary, some of it is academic. So university education is generally regarded as academic but this programme seeks to provide opportunities for Nigerian students who want to go into the academic side and get a university degree or perhaps want to go into the technical side and go and acquire some vocational skills and some vocational qualifications which is always needed in society, and also in the teacher training space. Because you know, without teachers, really none of us are going very far. We have to learn from others and we have to have teachers.

“So, this is a great opportunity for that applicant, and they are the ones that are at the centre of all of this. This act, effectively the intention behind it is to ensure that the reason for not being able to go on and further your education at a tertiary level, is not for the lack of finance.

“This law seeks to bridge the gap between the desire to study and the capacity to go further. It seeks to bridge that gap that is created by lack of finance, lack of funding.”

He added, “I want to say to you that 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. The applicant will go on to a portal, they will engage with that app.

“They will have to put in certain pieces of information which made them eligible, that is their JAMB number, and of course the tie-in to their date of birth. Further pieces of information include things like their national identity number, and NIN, which confirm 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 needed for financial inclusion because this scheme will at some point be able to empower students. So we need to know if 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’ve 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. Many many students are struggling to pay their fees, their parents are struggling to pay their fees. There’s a very high dropout rate. So it’s one thing to get into a tertiary institution.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *