President William Ruto has come out to clarify claims regarding the shortage of funds at the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB).
While addressing a crowd at the Kisii National Polytechnic on Thursday, March 23, 2023, the Head of State asserted that his administration had disbursed enough funds to HELB within the past two weeks.
He pledged that the students will receive the funds sooner than expected in order to enable them to continue with their studies.
"Sasa tumeweke pesa ya kutosha kwa budget in the last two weeks, mko na pesa sasa ya Higher Education Loans Board na wale wote watapata pesa hio ndio musihangaike muweze kuendelea na masomo yenu bila ya matatizo," he said amid cheers from the crowd.
This loosely translates to: "I want to announce that in the last two weeks, we have allocated funds to the HELB now you can continue with your studies without constraints. Those eligible for the loan will get the funds so that they can continue with education without hiccups."
Ruto's remarks came barely a day after HELB CEO Charles Ringera who appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Education on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, disclosed that they were experiencing a cash shortage and that they were unable to sponsor 140,000 students in public universities and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges.
He stated that they were experiencing a deficit of Ksh5.7 million and a request to cover the shortage through a supplementary budget was declined.
Momentarily, a successful applicant received between Ksh35,000 and Ksh60,000 per year.
"Currently we have 140,000 students in TVETs and universities that we have not been able to fund to the tune of Ksh 5.7 billion because we have run out of the budget that we had presented to the Treasury of KES 4.5 billion," he said.
Currently, the agency collects Ksh400 million each month from former loanees which adds to the quarterly disbursements by the Treasury.