Tinubu Appoints Jim Ovia As Nigerian Education Loan Fund Chairman

He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Louisiana.

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President Bola Tinubu has appointed renowned banker and businessman, Mr. Jim Ovia, as the Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND).

The appointment was disclosed in a statement released by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, on Friday.

Ngelale noted that the President believes Mr. Ovia will bring his immense wealth of experience and professional stature to this role to advance the all-important vision of ensuring that no Nigerian student suffers a capricious end to their pursuit of higher education over a lack of funds.

According to the Special Adviser, Ovia will be tasked with ensuring that Nigerian youths, irrespective of who they are, have access to higher education and skills that will make them productive members of society and core contributors to the knowledge-based global economy of this century.

“Mr. Ovia is the founder of one of Nigeria’s leading banks and a respected business leader, with a surfeit of efforts and benefaction towards nurturing and empowering young Nigerians.

“He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Louisiana.

“The National Student Loan Programme is a pivotal intervention that seeks to guarantee sustainable higher education and functional skill development for all Nigerian students and youths.

“The Nigerian Education Loan Fund, the implementing institution of this innovation, demands excellence and Nigerians of the finest professional ilk to guide and manage,” the statement read in part.

Student loan Act

President Tinubu on April 3, signed the National Students Loan Amendment bill into law.

The amended bill was signed after he initially signed the student loan bill into law back in June 2023, to offer financial assistance to Nigerian students in tertiary institutions.

Following the earlier signing of the bill, its implementation faced delays due to various issues hindering its rollout.

Speaking after he signed the amended bill, the president said, “ First of all, I must thank members of the National Assembly for their expeditious handling of this bill considering the children of Nigeria, that education is the tool to fight against poverty effectively.”

“We are determined to ensure that education is given the proper attention necessary for the country including skills development programmes. This is to ensure that no one, no matter how poor their background is, is excluded from quality education and opportunity to build their future.”

“We are here because we are all educated and were helped. In the past, we have seen a lot of our children drop out of college and give up the opportunity. That is no more, the standard and the control is there for you to apply no matter who you are as long as you are a Nigerian citizen.”

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