HIGHER Education Students’ Loan Board (HESLB) has recovered 600bn/- from the 1.1tri/- matured loans to the board’s beneficiaries.
Since its establishment some 14 years ago, HESLB has disbursed 3.8tri/- as loans to learners in higher learning institutions.
HESLB Director of Loan Repayment and Recovery Ignatus Oscar, speaking during his visit to Tanzania Standard (Newspapers) Limited—the publishers of Daily News, Sunday News, HabariLeo, Habari- Leo Jumapili and SpotiLeo—in Dar es Salaam, said: “We have collected 601bn/- from the beneficiaries, with over 520bn/- of the amount—equivalent to 84 per cent—collected within only three years, between the fiscal years 2015/16 and 2018/19.”
He further disclosed that next week, the board will publish in its website the names of all 143,000 loan defaulters with debts amounting to 432bn/- and whose whereabouts remains unknown. Besides the names of defaulters, the board will also publish the names of their guarantors.
Mr Oscar pointed out that the administrative law provides that in case the debtor is not responding, the guarantor has to take responsibility.
“If it happens that both parties don’t respond to the call, the board will not have other choice but to institute legal measures against the defaulter,” he noted.
Currently, beneficiaries repaying their loans have reached 163,000, said the director, hinting some factors that were leading to default as lack of cooperation by some employers who are reluctant to present the names of employees who owe the board.
Other reasons include the beneficiaries themselves willingly reporting to the board but lacking the financial ability to repay the loans due to liability with other financial institutions.
HESLB Executive Director Abdul-razaq Badru maintained that all people who were granted loans by the government have to meet their obligations by repaying because there is no way they can escape.
“So long as the person is alive, they are supposed to clear their loans, this is why the board is collaborating with other institutions to track defaulters,” said Mr Badru.
He pointed out that efforts were made in 2014/15 to intensify collections unlike the previous years when recovery was poor due to lack of repaying culture among majority Tanzanians. Currently, the board is liquid, thanks to good loan repayments and allocations from the government in each financial year.
Mr Badru said the application window which ended last month attracted 87,666 applicants— Form Six leavers and diploma holders, among oth relevant qualifications.
So far, many improvements have been recorded taking into consideration the small number of 5,000 applications with faults, a clear manifestation that people have become keener on the identified instructions, he explained.
According to Mr Badru, in the next two weeks, the board expects to open its doors for 5,000 applicants to rectify faults in their applications.
Since most universities and colleges are expected to open by November 2, this year, the procedure is that by October 15 all selection and loan allocations be completed.
“With the 450bn/- budget, there is an increase of 23bn/- from the 427bn/-, which was issued last year.
About 45,000 screened applicants with relevant qualifications will be in a better position to secure loans in the current financial year as compared to 41,000 students who received loans last year,” he said.
TSN acting Managing Editor Baraka Katemba described the board’s figures as quite impressive, applauding the good work being done to support the education sector in the country.