By Amoto Ndiewo
President Uhuru Kenyatta has declined to extend the grace period for repayment of students’ Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) loans.
In a memorandum sent to the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, the president wants the status quo maintained.
Uhuru noted that the provision will adversely affect the sustainability of the students’ loan as a revolving fund that has helped many needy students.
“Delaying the date of commencement of repayment of students will consequently reduce the amount recovered by HELB as well as decrease the number of beneficiaries annually,” he said.
“This is because the graduates who are not in formal employment or those that are not likely to declare that they are generating income are likely to fail or delay repayment of their loans,” the president added.
Other than the loan HELB amendment bill 2022, the president also referred back two other bills to the National Assembly – the Insurance Professional Bill and the Information Communication Technology Practitioners Bill.
“With the National Assembly having already gone ahead on recess, it means that the three bills may not be reconsidered and shall therefore lapse at the end of term of the 12th parliament,” the speaker said.
He added that means if the 13th parliament has a cause for reconsideration of the three bills then they might see the light of day under a new presidency.
As a means to woo the youth, top August 9th election presidential aspirants Azimio La Umoja Kenya Alliance’s Engineer Raila Odinga and Kenya Kwanza‘s Dr. William Ruto have included HELB in their agendas.
The former plans for interest-free loans while the latter promises to convert the loan into a grant.