The Higher Education Students’ Loans Board (HESLB) Management, on Thursday, October 26th, 2023 met with editors from various media houses at the PSSSF Golden Jubilee Conference Hall in Dar es Salaam.
The meeting was part of the implementation of the communication plan under the coordination of the Treasury Registrar’s Office with the aim of providing information on the performance of public institutions highlighting on successes, challenges and plans in service delivery to Tanzanian citizens.
Presenting on the implementation of HESLB’s responsibilities during the four-year period (2020/2021 – 2023/2024), HESLB Executive Director Abdul-Razaq Badru said that, during the period, the Government has increased the loan budget by 69% from TZS 464 billion to TZS 786 billion.
“This is a huge increase which has raised the number of beneficiaries per year from 149,506 to 220,376 who will benefit in the current academic year,” explained Badru and added that;
“The total amount budgeted for this year (TZS 786 billion); whereby (TZS 731 billion) is for undergraduate degrees’ loans; (TZS 6.7 billion) is for Samia Scholarship; and (TZS 48 billion) for diploma loans in priority programmes ... it has never happened before that the Government sets aside a budget for such a huge amount of money and increases the scope to Diploma level,” he said.
Despite being budgeted for, Badru explained that the funds have been sufficient and are disbursed on time, and further praised H.E. Dr. Samia Suluhu Hassan for budget increase and assurance of the availability of fund on time; a measure that has strengthened peace and harmony in universities and colleges.
Regarding loan repayment, Badru said that TZS 530 billion has been collected in the past four years out of the target of collecting TZS 565 billion, which is equivalent to 93%.
During the meeting, the Executive Director also explained HESLB’s plan to launch #Fichua campaign aimed at joining hands with patriotic citizens to expose beneficiaries who have stable income but are yet to come out and start repaying their due loans.
Speaking on behalf of the Editors, Neville Meena, Member from the Executive Committee of the Tanzania Editors’ Forum (TEF) has commended HESLB for having a positive attitude towards service delivery.
“I congratulate you for your positive attitude in services delivery unlike in the past. ...we have journalists who have benefited from loans, they can be used as loan recovery ambassadors,” said Meena.
Meena used the forum to remind journalists to use their profession to encourage repayment of matured loans so as the repaid fund can benefit other needy Tanzanians.