Pauline Onyibe, Yenagoa
More than 3,000 students of Bayelsa State indigenes are said to have benefited from the Bayelsa State Higher Education Students Loan Board scheme in the last one year.
In the same vein, N400 million in loans was said to have been given out to undergraduate and post graduate students including those pursuing professional programmes.
Executive Secretary of the Board, Michael Amaegberi, disclosed this on Thursday in Yenagoa in a chat with members of the Federated Correspondents’ Chapel of NUJ, Bayelsa State Council who were in his office to know the activities of the board.
He said the board was establish by law by the last administration in the state to cater for indigent students who are pursuing higher education in public universities across the country.
According to the Executive Secretary, the loans amounts which varies according to programmes are interest free, with flexible repayment plans where undergraduate beneficiaries are allowed to begin repayment one year after their mandatory national youth service programme.
Amaegberi said: “Effectively, we started giving out loans in 2020 and between that time and now the total number of students in public universities across Nigeria, over 3000 students cut across diploma, first degree, Masters and doctorate degree programmes.
“While the scheme is a novel one, there is no interest to be paid on the loans. Whenever the student is paying, it is the initial amount given to him/her and they are supposed to start paying back one year after their national youth service.
“We have given out almost N400 million in loans to students and the amount per student varies but the only programmes that we try to keep them at the same level is Masters and doctorate degree programmes.”