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20.10.2005 General News

Student Loan Scheme In Danger

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The Students' Loan Scheme, operated by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), is being crippled by the failure of tertiary students who complete their courses to pay back their loans.

Mr Richard Asamoah-Mensah, head of Students Loan Department, disclosed to the newspaper in Accra yesterday that currently, an amount of ¢368 billion was owed by beneficiaries of the scheme who had completed their courses.

He said a total of 149,000 beneficiaries owed the scheme an amount of ¢520 billion out of which the SSNIT had so far recovered only ¢172 billion, leaving ¢348 billion outstanding.

He said for the first time since the inception of the scheme in 1998, SSNIT had to fall on the contributions of defaulters to recover their loans.

adding because of that, the recovery of the loan had been more significant than in previous years.

The SSNIT, he said, had also disbursed an amount of ¢540 billion to 45,000 students currently studying in the country's tertiary institutions.

Mr Asamoah-Mensah appealed to students whose loans were due, to repay promptly to relieve their guarantors, due to go on retirement.