HIGHER Education Students' Loans Board (HESLB) is working hard to finance its budget entirely through recovered loans in the next two years.
Already, loan recoveries are covering 41 per cent of the board's 450bn/- budget from a mere five per cent in the 2014/15 academic year.
HESLB Executive Director, Abdul-Razaq Badru told the 'Daily News' in Dar es Salaam recently that under the current loan recovery rate, the board is determined to fully finance its annual budget by 2021/22 academic year.
"In the past four years, the board has collected 574bn/-, almost 90 per cent of the total 641bn/- recovered since HESLB establishment in 2005," Mr Badru said, attributing the success to President John Magufuli.
The 641bn/- accounts for 63 per cent of the students' 1.01tri/- matured loans, putting the board's non-performing loans at 37 per cent, said Mr Badru, expressing optimism over enhanced loan recovery.
He said under the current environment of improved working relations between the board and other stakeholders, compulsory HESLB deductions and beneficiaries' willingness to repay, the board will greatly improve the loan recoveries in the near future.
"The board's loan recoveries have within four years increased almost ten times, from 21bn/- in 2014/15 to 183bn/- in the 2018/19 fiscal year," boasted Mr Badru.
And, during the board's 14 years of operations, the government has disbursed 3.8tri/- to 400,100 students of higher learning institutions, with 1.8tri/- or 47 per cent of the entire disbursement released within the four years of President Magufuli's administration.
The number of beneficiaries has as well increased, from 100,936 in 2014/15 to 128,285 students this academic year. Mr Badru said under President Magufuli, the government has been releasing students' loans on time, making students' unrest in higher learning institutions unheard of.
"Previously, the loan beneficiaries used to throng the board offices to demand for their allocations because the board was financially crippled.
Unfortunately, as students thronged the board offices, the board officers were camping at treasury, begging for money," recalled the HESLB chief, noting that currently the universities receive the money even before students' arrival at campuses.
HESLB Director of Loan Allocation and Disbursement, Dr Veronica Nyantori said the board is currently working hard to ensure great efficiency in loan issuance.
"We are determined to ensure that only the needy get the loans for what they exactly need," said Dr Nyantori.