Loans board pushed to recover funds

Loans board pushed to recover funds

 Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) has called on the Higher Education Loans and Grants Board to intensify its efforts in recovery of loans so that the facility benefits more students but also moves towards.

Speaking in an interview yesterday Csec executive director Benedicto Kondowe lamented that there are a number of needy students that fail to access loans despite government investing billions of kwacha in the loans facility.

He said: “Access to loans  will always be difficult if recovery is a problem. This  was created to be a revolving fund but we do not get the impression that we are going towards the revolving fund.”

Kondowe emphasized that recovering more will mean more students benefitting and putting less pressure on taxpayers.

He said there is more that needs to be done to recover the money and raise awareness on the need to repay, arguing beneficiaries feel they are not supposed to pay back.

Kondowe added that the board can also engage debt collectors to recover the money.

Loans Board spokesperson Millie Kasunda was not immediately available for comment on her known phone number.

But Parliamentary Committee on Education chairperson Brainax Kaise said it is too early to expect the board to become a self-sustaining revolving fund.

He said the amounts that were being disbursed in the past were not that significant, putting into account the devaluations.

Kaise emphasised that for now there is need for the government to continue allocating more money to the board to support the students, adding the committee is satisfied with this year’s allocation.

“We hope that in 10 years it will be a revolving fund. There is need to continue providing more money,” he said.

However, Kaise called on the board to find a way of recovering money from graduates that are self-employed.

This year, government has allocated K24 billion for students loans targetting 26 000 students. The amount is up from last year K16 billion which targeted about 25 000 students.

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