The management of the Student and Loan Trust (SLTF) is in discussions with the Ministry of Finance to explore further sources of funds to improve on the financial portfolio of the Trust.
The Chief Executive Officer of the SLTF, Nana Kwaku Agyei Yeboah who disclosed this in an interview with the media on the sidelines of the Students Leaders Summit 2019, said the move, formed part of measures, to diversify the income sources of the Trust to meet the growing financial demand on the Trust by tertiary students.
Under the theme, “Fostering greater cooperation for tertiary educational development,” the programme organised by the National Union of Ghana Students, was sponsored by the SLTF.
It was meant to dialogue with the leadership of the various tertiary student unions under NUGS on how to improve on the services of SLTF and also educate them on the processes for the application of a student loan.
The SLTF was established in 2005 to provide loans to students of accredited tertiary education to finance their education.
Mr Yeboah explained that under the Students Loan Act, Act 820 (2011), the Trust had 12 sources of funding, and there was the need to increase the sources of funding for the Trust to enable it meets its financial demands from students.
He mentioned some of the sources of funding for the SLTF as Ghana Education Trust Fund, Telecommunication Tax, investments and recoveries by the Trust.
Mr Yeboah said the implementation of the Free Senior High School Policy would in the foreseeable future put huge financial burden on the Trust due to the growing demand for loans by students, explaining that currently on the average 38,000 students yearly apply for loan from the Trust.
In view of this, he said the management of the Trust was initiating strategies to increase financial flows so as not to “drown the Trust,” by the growing financial demands from students of accredited tertiary students.
Mr Yeboah said the current leadership of the SLTF had better managed the organisation and put it on a better financial footing.
For example, he said the current management had introduced electronic means such as mobile money and formed partnerships with some banks to help students who are even residing out the country to pay their loans.
The Head of Operations of SLTF, Mr Kofi Abbew Nkrumah said the Trust had projected to disburse GH¢100 million loans to students this year, stressing the minimum a student could access was GH¢1500 and a maximum of GHc3000, adding that Trust so far this year had disbursed about GHc37 million out of its projected disbursement amount.
On the Trust loan recoveries, Mr Nkrumah said the Trust last year collected GH¢27 million out of the target of GH¢30 million and this Trust had projected to collect GH¢35 million and currently GH¢5 million had been collected.
By Kingsley Asare