What you need to know:
- Relief.“Now that we have a new board, we are going to sit tomorrow (today) to go through the final approvals and will have the list of [loan] beneficiaries released by Tuesday next week,” Michael Wanyama, HESFB executive director
The government has finally named the new Higher Education Students’ Financing Board (HESFB) board of governors to quicken the release of beneficiaries of study loans for the 2022/2023 academic year.
Mr Charles Wana-Etyem, the former Makerere University Council chairperson, has been appointed the head of the board for the next four years.
The board members include Ms Joy Constance Kwesiga (vice chancellors forum representative), Dr Jane Egua Okou (Ministry of Education), Mr George Masuba (Employers) and Ms Rehema Namarome (Persons with Disability).
Others are Mr Tom Amiti (workers’ representative), Dr Alex Mugisha Kagume (Nation Council for Higher Education) and Mustapha Achidri (ministry responsible for finance).
The board members took oath in Kampala yesterday.
“I would like to congratulate the incoming team upon their appointment. I congratulate the board of directors who have provided oversight and direction to this very strategic scheme,” the State Minister of Higher Education, Mr John Chrysostom Muyingo, said.
The Ministry of Education and HESFB have been under pressure from the Parliament and other stakeholders over the delayed release of the loan beneficiaries.
The HESFB had indicated that they were waiting for the government to approve the new board of governors who are supposed to approve the list of beneficiaries as required by the law.
Speaking after the swearing in, Mr Wana-Etyme said he was aware of the concerns among the stakeholders over the delays but added that the new board would focus on releasing the list.
“The delay has been as a result of the restructuring of public institutions that is currently underway. The board will move quickly to clear the pending business to enable beneficiaries concentrate their efforts on studies,” Mr Wana-Etyme said.
The HESFB executive director, Mr Michael Wanyama, said the list of beneficiaries is expected next week.
Mr Muyingo tasked the new board to develop a system that will track loan beneficiaries so that they pay back.
According to Mr Muyingo, a total of 5,000 beneficiaries are now well into repayment with more than Shs46b to be recovered.
“Just like in Kenya and Tanzania, Uganda should also develop a system that tracks the financial streams of all loanees and ensure periodic recovery of the money,” Mr Muyingo said.
Since its inception in 2014, the board has to date given loans to 12,780 learners.