President Bola Tinubu has declared that the student loan programme would commence full operation in January 2024.
Mr Tinubu announced this at the 29th Economic Summit organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning in Abuja on Monday.
The president assured Nigerians that government-owned tertiary institutions would no longer go on strike.
He admitted that Nigerians felt the short-term negative impact of his reforms but promised that everyone would soon enjoy the benefits.
In June, Mr Tinubu signed into law the Student Loan Bill in fulfilment of a promise he made during his campaign. The bill provides interest-free loans to indigent Nigerian students.
Also, the president assured that Nigeria would honour all future foreign exchange contracts.
“All foreign exchange contracts will be honoured by this government; I assure you we have a line of sight to the foreign exchange we need to refloat this economy, and we will get it,” he said.
Mr Tinubu said that as the naira continued its free-fall at the parallel market, he would clear the foreign exchange contracts backlog discouraging investors’ confidence.
The NESG chairman, Niyi Yusuf, said that with more than 133 million multidimensionally poor Nigerians, there were potentially more risks of stagnation and distress if a low-growth and low-investment era persisted.
“ The future of the Nigerian child is at stake across every geopolitical zone. The Nigerian ageing population is also at risk; there is a high prospect that a retiree’s savings and investments will be eroded entirely just a few years into the first or second decade of retirement.
“ Our high fertility rate, which is driving a much higher population growth than economic growth, poses a risk of an unproductive population bulge, with an unmanageable social infrastructure cost and burden for supporting our children’s health, nutrition and education,” Mr Yusuf said.
He said Nigeria’s multi-trillion dollar economy would be viable within a decade of serious reform, consistent economic action and deliberate institutional reforms.