Opinion: Why JAMB admission letter, NIN, and BVN are prerequisites for application for student loans

Dr. Akinfala

By Fred Femi Akinfala

In Nigeria, the demand for higher education continues to rise, leading to an increasing need for financial assistance among students. One of the ways students can fund their education is through student loan schemes provided by government and financial institutions.

Having served as a lecturer and student advisor for over a decade, I have encountered numerous instances of ‘ghost’ students within educational institutions. These individuals, though not spectral beings, are essentially fake students who either gained improper admission, deliberately forged admission letters or students’ ID cards or were removed from the school’s records due to academic deficiencies. Rather than returning home, these ghost students linger on campuses, squandering valuable time.

With the advent of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), fake students pose a significant concern. While I have faith in NELFUND’s ability to address this problem through a diligent verification process, my apprehension lies in the repercussions of this grim reality on the affected students, their families, and society.

Nigeria’s path to prosperity has been fraught with challenges. Still, President Bola Tinubu’s ‘Renewed Hope Agenda,’ especially his initiatives in education and youth development, has reignited my hope for a brighter future. Through the student loans program, President Tinubu aims to ensure equitable access, completion, and outcomes for all Nigerian students in tertiary institutions. Therefore, allowing ghost students and impostors to infiltrate the loan system undermines the President’s well-meaning policy.

Under the leadership of Mr Akintunde Sawyerr, NELFUND is committed to preventing ghost students from usurping opportunities meant for genuine and eligible applicants. This commitment extends to promoting inclusivity, accountability, transparency, and fairness in the loan disbursement process, regardless of gender, ethnicity, language, or religion. To ensure transparency and accountability in the disbursement of these loans, specific requirements such as a JAMB admission letter, National Identification Number (NIN), and Bank Verification Number (BVN) have been put in place by the management.

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) admission letter proves a student’s acceptance into a tertiary institution in Nigeria. Requiring this document for student loan applications helps to verify the legitimacy of the applicant’s academic status. It ensures that only eligible students who have gained admission into recognized institutions can access funding for their education. This helps to prevent fraud, misrepresentation, and the diversion of funds meant for genuine students.

The National Identification Number (NIN) is a unique identification number issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). Requiring NIN for student loan applications helps to establish the identity of the applicant and prevents multiple applications or fraudulently obtained loans. It also enables the government and financial institutions to track and monitor loan recipients, ensuring accountability in using borrowed funds. Additionally, linking NIN to student loans helps to streamline the loan application process and reduce bureaucratic bottlenecks.

The Bank Verification Number (BVN) is a biometric identification system introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria to curb fraud in the banking sector. Requiring BVN for student loan applications helps to link student stipend disbursements directly to the borrower’s bank account, providing a secure and transparent channel for fund disbursement. BVN verification also helps to confirm the financial history of the loan applicant.

Applicants who fail to provide a JAMB admission letter, NIN, and BVN for student loan applications may be disqualified from accessing financial assistance for their education. Non-compliance with these requirements not only hinders students’ access to funding but also undermines the integrity of the student loan scheme. It can lead to misallocating resources, delays in loan processing, and potential misuse of funds by unqualified individuals. Therefore, students need to ensure they meet all the necessary criteria to qualify for student loans and contribute to a transparent and efficient higher education funding system.

To curb fraudulent activities by ghost students, NELFUND has implemented the following measures:

1. Direct payment of tuition loans to institutions with monthly stipends disbursed directly to the applicants.

2. Requirement for three key officers, the Vice Chancellor/Rector, The Registrar and Bursars at institutions to confirm studentship before loans are disbursed to Institutions.

3. Utilizing biometric verification methods, including fingerprint, iris scans, facial recognition, PINs, and mobile devices for authentication are being implemented.

4. Implement one-time passwords (OTPs) sent via SMS or email.

5. Collaborations with relevant educational bodies and government agencies for seamless communication and data verification.

6. Regular database audits to cross-check applicant information against institutional records.

7. Exclusion of students with criminal convictions from the loan scheme through data sharing with security and academic institutions.

8. Establishment of a rigorous monitoring system, including on-site inspections at educational institutions to confirm the presence of loan beneficiaries.

In conclusion, the requirements of a JAMB admission letter, NIN, and BVN are crucial in accessing student loans in Nigeria. These requirements help to validate the academic status, identity, and financial history of loan applicants, ensuring that funds are disbursed to genuine students who are committed to their education. Non-compliance with these requirements will result in disqualification from the student loan scheme and prevent students from accessing the financial support they need to pursue their academic aspirations. Therefore, students must adhere to these requirements and contribute to the integrity and sustainability of the student loan system in Nigeria.

Dr. Fred Femi Akinfala, Executive Director of Finance and Administration at NELFUND.















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