Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has joined forces with the Vice Chancellor of Bells University of Technology, Ota, Ogun State, Prof. Jeremiah Ojediran, to call on the Federal Government to include students from private universities in the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) scheme.

They made the call during the commissioning ceremony of the Asiwaju Onafowokan, Coleman Wires and Cables building at Bells University’s College of Postgraduate Studies in Ota, Ogun State.

Chief Obasanjo, who backed the demand of the vice chancellor, urged the Federal Government to listen to their concerns regarding the exclusion of private university students from the NELFUND scheme. He expressed concern about the government’s ability to implement the scheme without corruption.

Prof. Ojediran, in his speech praised the efforts of private universities and stressed the importance of their inclusion in the NELFUND scheme.

Ojediran also criticised the exclusion of private universities from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and the recent decision to exclude private university students from the students loan scheme.

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The VC argued that the decisions were out of touch with the current realities on ground and the expectations of the Nigerians.

The VC highlighted the struggles faced by parents in keeping their children enrolled in schools, whether public or private because of the economic downturn.

Ojediran lauded private universities including BellsTech, for putting in place measures to ease the financial burden on parents and acknowledged the contributions of private universities to national manpower development and the economy.

The VC of BellsTech argued that it was necessary to recognise private universities as partners in progress with the government because their graduates play significant roles in driving the nation’s economy forward.