THE Higher Education Students Loans Board has collected about K155 million of the estimated K1.8 billion from beneficiaries of public universities loans during the grace period from April 2016 to March 2017.
In an interview, the board’s Executive Director, Chris Chisoni, said 6,720 people inquired information regarding their loans from the board but 6,550 paid.
“The grace period expired on 31st March this year and from that we collected K155 million. On our list we have 23,000 people[who owe the board] and we are still tracing some. A lot of employers paid for their employees which was very encouraging.
However the figure we have so far collected comes into play because loans for 2015 graduates have not matured yet,” Chisoni explained. Despite the figure, Chisoni said as a board they are impressed with the attitude of companies saying it made it easy for the board to collect the money. “The figure could be seen as little but what we can say is that the desire to pay was there.
The money we collected is not only from the classes that had lower loans from the 1990’s, different cohorts paid up for the loans even those that hand K200,000 loan balance came forth to pay,” he said.
On the amount spent on trying to make the initiative a success Chisoni said the money used for advertising should not be considered arguing that idea was to reach out to people which he said was achieved.
“We cannot link the statistics against the adverts. It was a first time initiative so we had to get the message across to people and through the adverts, billboards and various meetings this has been achieved.
The figure collected should not be confused with what was spent to achieve this,” he said. Chisoni also said from now onwards all students owing the board will be repaying with a 10 percent interest.
“The 10 percent that has been effected after the grace period is not necessarily a punishment but rather we will now be collecting money the legal way.
We gave the grace period just to give people the responsibility and chance to pay in good time but now the 10 percent will be paid by all those who owe the board,” he said