Tinubu names a new management team for the NELFund to handle student loans


The National Education Loan Fund’s management team has added two executive directors and a managing director, according to the appointments approved by President Bola Tinubu on Friday.

Among them are Mr. Frederick Akinfala, Executive Director of Finance and Administration; Mr. Mustapha Iyal, Executive Director of Operations; and Akintunde Sawyer, Managing Director.

The President’s Special Advisor on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, signed a statement on Friday stating that the appointments are “in line with his determination to secure Nigeria’s socio-economic future by ensuring sustainable higher education and critical skill development for all Nigerian students and the youth.”

“President Tinubu appoints the management team of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund,” reads the statement.

Two days after Tinubu signed the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2024, this development occurred on Friday.

In the presence of the National Assembly’s leadership, ministers, and significant education stakeholders, he signed the executive bill titled “A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Students Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act, 2023, and Enact the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Bill, 2004 to Establish the Nigerian Education Loan Fund as a body corporate to receive, manage, and invest funds to provide loans to Nigerians for higher education, vocational training and skills acquisition, and for related matters.”

Following independent reviews of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and the TETFund report by the Senate and the House of Representatives, this occurred.

The 2023 Act presented several difficulties with administration and governance, the intent behind the loans, applicant eligibility, the application process, loan recovery, and repayment terms.

To “help the Managing Director in discharging his duties,” the newly signed version permits the nomination of a Chairperson of the Fund, a Managing Director, and two Executive Directors of Finance and Operations, respectively.

The Act stated that the appointees “shall hold office for five years.”

Additionally, it transformed the Loan Fund into a corporate entity with powers it had not previously had, such as the capacity to enter into agreements with applicants for loans or to take legal action to collect loans from beneficiaries.

The President states that he anticipates the management team’s appointment to bring about the “expeditious setting in place of the essential machinery for the effective take-off of this important fund for the immediate and lasting benefit of Nigerian students and families in all regions of the country.”