Police and other Kenyan crime busters are coming for HELB loan defaulters. If you are a HELB beneficiary, you may have to do something urgently before the police come for you.
On Wednesday, Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said it is going to be business unusual as the High Education Loans Board (Helb) seeks to recover over 7.2 billion owed by 74,000 defaulters.
She said the crackdown would start any time from now and asked employers to help in tracking them.
“We are also going to partner with our law enforcement agencies to track down those holding jobs and yet are reluctant to stand up to be counted as responsible and patriotic citizens who honour their debts,” she said.
She said the government plans to track graduates work in the digital space and have defaulted on their loans.
Helb CEO Charles Ringera said they are also seeking to partner with the Foreign Affairs ministry to track defaulters in the diaspora.
“We are having a large number of graduates leaving the country to work abroad majority who have defaulted,” Mr Ringera said.
They were speaking during the launch of Helb’s 2019-2023 strategic plan. They have projected a Sh90.7 billion budget in the strategic plan.
The Education CS said enrollment in universities has spike and there is an excess of 795,000 college students.
Meanwhile, Ms Mohamed said the annual Helb student loan budget has grown from Sh4.6 billion financing 109,189 students in 2012 to Sh11.4 billion for 248,050 students in the 2017/18 financial year.
Further, Helb announced it will be funding 24,252 students in Technical and Vocational Training Institutes (TVET).
It is estimated that this year, 262,764 students will be placed in TVETs while 90,688 will go to universities.
“This financial year, the Treasury allocated Sh300 million to cater for loans and bursaries for students in TVETs,” he said.
She said 53 percent Helb budget is funded by the exchequer and 47 percent from loan recovery.