Embakasi East Legislator Hon Babu Owino has urged the government to scrap billions of Higher Education Loans, Helb, owed by unemployed graduates. Hon Owino urges President Uhuru Kenyatta to scrap the Helb loans as he has done with coffee farmers’ loans. According to the Embakasi East Legislator, scrapping the loans would spur economic growth.
Here is the appeal by Hon Owino;
‘Since taking office in 2013, H. E Uhuru Kenyatta’s Government has written off over KES 2.4 billion shillings in debts owed by coffee farmers and most recently, the Government secured a KES 20 billion facility to write off debts owed by the national carrier Kenya Airways.
It is common practice for this Government to write off debts in areas with significant impact on the national economy. I put forward that nothing has greater impact on the national economy than unemployment. And one of the biggest contributors to unemployment is the inability of young people to get jobs due to HELB debts and numerous other requirements such as Police Clearance Certificate, EACC (Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission) Certificate and so on that all cost money.
The total National HELB debt currently stands at KES 6.8B. In comparison to the coffee debt and the KQ (Kenya Airways) debt,the impact of HELB loan write off will be felt across the nation in all segments of society. I therefore make this appeal to H.E the President to kindly consider this request in the next financial year for the sake of all Kenyans’.
It remains to be seen if the government will heed to Babu’s appeal and do away with the loans even as the agency (Helb) threatens to dig in on defaulters.