LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s Higher Education Students’ Loans and Grants Board recovered a measly MK35 million in the nine months of the exercise of the MK1.7 billion which it targets to collect within the 12 months running up to March 2017.

Chris Chisoni: The MK1.7 billion target unrealistic

The Board’s Executive Director Chris Chisoni told The Daily Times that his office will not be able to recover the MK1.7 billion loans within the remaining three months from former universities students.

Chisoni disclosed that over 23,000 beneficiaries from 120 employers have been traced and approached for the recovery of the loan.He said that about 60 of the employers approached have complied with the board’s exercise of recovering the loans.

“I doubt that we will recover all the money we wanted. Currently, the process of consulting employers to identify the students who went to public universities is ongoing. So far, the board has managed to recover MK35 million within nine months just three months ahead of the March 2017 target that we collect the M1.7 billion,” said Chisoni.

“The board has been engaging employers to provide names of their employees who accessed the loans while learning at the country’s public higher learning institutions. The recovered money is meant to support other needy students in the wake of high tuition fees”, he added.

Chisoni then warned that legal action will take its course on those beneficiaries who fail to comply with the board’s order arguing that the law was clear on loan defaulters.

In 2012, the late President Bingu Wa Mutharika launched the loan recovery campaign from former public university students as a revolving fund that needy students can access as a loan for their tertiary education.

The loan recovery exercise has been meeting problems in tracing former beneficiaries who might have traveled outside the country and those in the informal sector.