, NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 22 – The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) is now eying county government and constituency development funds as it seeks more resources to support a higher number of students in universities.
HELB Chief Executive Officer Charles Ringera says they are seeking to cover over 170,000 students out of more than 350,000 students in universities.
“For now, we only cover 120,000 students which accounts for only a third, hence more resources are needed to cover a greater number,” he said.
He said that there is a Sh9 billion funding gap pointing out that the board’s budget for the year 2013 is at Sh14.4 billion and they received Sh4.9 billion from Treasury.
Ringera revealed there are now in talks with about five counties so far, to make an agreement for the board to use part of their education funds to help needy students there get higher education.
The fund is also seeking corporates to utilize their social corporate responsibility with the board.
Apart from that, the board is also keen in recovering all the monies lent.
“We have had great experience in recovery and creating a revolving fund. The revolving fund will be for students only in their counties/constituencies,” he explained.
Last month the board granted a one-month amnesty waiving Sh5,000 penalty fees for each month outstanding loans were not paid.
“The amnesty went pretty well over 19,000 people were able to check their status and about 9,500 people were able to honour their obligation and pay up their loan,” he revealed.
Ringera said that they collected Sh695 million surpassing their target that was at Sh505 million – a success of about 145 percent.
However he revealed that about 68,000 people still owe HELB.
“We still need to recover Sh7.45 billion and now it’s time to go to court. Already we have licensed 15 prosecutors to handle the matter,” he revealed.
He also revealed that HELB is now a member of credit information sharing and all defaulters have been blacklisted.