Help loan amounting to Sh8.2 Billion has not been paid, the government has now waived penalties for 82,000 Kenyans who have defaulted on the repayment of the Helb loan.
A one month deadline has been set for the defaulters to settle the repayment of the Helb loan.
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said the defaulters must pay all the money they owed Helb in a lump sum.
Speaking during a Helb engagement forum with employers, Amina said she was shocked at the huge debt owed to the Helb fund.
“I direct that all defaulters make payments between May 5 and June 30. We are giving a 100 percent penalty waiver,” said the CS.
She asked employers to deduct and remit the Helb loan dues of defaulting past students currently employed as staff in various organizations.
“I call upon all employers to ensure they do not have staff in their payroll who have not completed the payments.”
Helb introduced an online platform designed to make it easier for employers to check their workers’ Helb loan status.
Amina also urged graduates who had benefited from the Helb loans to repay.
“It is just good practice to pay loans. All graduates should pay loans, not as a favour but as a primary requirement.”
Reports show that 396,680 loan accounts worth Sh47.5 billion had matured for payment. Of these, 81,994 accounts worth Sh8.2 billion were not paying any money towards their Helb loan.
Helb Chief Executive Officer Charles Ringera said that since 1974, the university loan scheme had supported more than 645,000 Kenyans to pursue higher education at a total cost of Sh72 billion.
Ringera said that loans worth Sh24.5 billion for 264,000 people had not yet matured. “Of the 396,680 loan accounts, a total of 175,003 loaners have completed their loan repayments valued at Sh16.7 billion.”
Helb pulls its funding from the exchequer as well as loan repayments from past beneficiaries.
Helb had raised over Sh800 million and supported more than 20,000 students through initiative from various corporates, foundations, trusts, NGOs, and counties.
The Education minister also instructed all universities to adopt the Helb smartcard system, saying it would allow timely Helb loan disbursement to students.