Student Loans Trust Fund engages stakeholders for release of delayed students’ loans

Source The Ghana Report/ Seth J. Bokpe


The Students Loan Trust Fund says it is engaging with the relevant stakeholders including the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance and the GET FUND to disburse delayed fund to the fund’s beneficiaries.

While acknowledging calls by student groups for the speedy release of funds, it says it is constraints by the delay in the release of funds from the Ministry of Finance.

“We recognise that students in over 100 tertiary institutions across the country rely on student loans for various uses, including the payment of fees, accommodation, and the purchase of books as well as general living expenses. We are working assiduously to restore the situation to normalcy,” the fund said in a statement.

The National Union of Ghana Students on Wednesday gave the government a two-week ultimatum to provide the SLTF with funds so that student loans would be released timeously.

President of NUGS, Isaac Jay Hyde, at a Press Conference in Accra, warned that if the government fails to act by releasing the funds for disbursement of the student loans, they would resort to demonstrations to compel the government to act.

Mr Hyde observed that students who relied on the loans had been left frustrated and they were also in a state of “hopelessness” as to how they would survive in the academic year without the disbursement.

“Consequently, there will be a massive exodus of deferred students from our tertiary institutions if no action is taken immediately to salvage the situation,” he recounted.

He noted that in the last three years, there had been delays in the release of funds to the SLTF, thereby, affecting the welfare of students.

However, the fund said from the beginning of the academic year, it has been disbursing loans to students in batches.

“The challenge is that the Trust Fund has not been able to pay all beneficiaries at the same time,” it said.

Mr George Laing, Head of Public Relations for the SLTF told theghanareport.com that the fund needs GH₵ 80 million every year to pay them more than 35,000 beneficiaries.

Currently, the main sources of funding for the Fund are receipts from the GETFUND, Communications Service Tax and repayments from beneficiaries of the Fund.

“For some time now, the Fund has been forced to rely heavily on recovered loans to disburse t o students. This is due to delays in the release of funds from the other sources.

“As a result, the Fund has employed various strategies to recover funds from borrowers. Much as our recovery strategies have been successful, funds recovered are not adequate to disburse to all students at a go,” the statement said.

Over the past few days, the management of the Fund has met with various student groups, including executives of the National Union of Ghana Students, the University Students Association of Ghana, the Ghana Union of Professional Students and the Private University Students Association of Ghana.

“ In our meetings with student leadership, we have explained the challenges we face with them, and urged them to continue to exercise restraint as Government works to resolve the issues,” it said.

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