Bayelsa State Government has urged undergraduates who applied for loan under the Higher Education Students Loans Board to be patient as it is working to ensure payments are made soon.
The Executive Secretary, Bayelsa State Higher Education Students Loan Board, Dr. Michael Amaegberi stated this in a chat with journalists in Yenagoa at the weekend.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to providing succour to the needs of students in the state’s tertiary institutions through access to loan facilities.
According to him, the loans are available to indigenes of the state while non-indigenes married to Bayelsans can also benefit from the loans scheme.
Amaegberi noted that post graduate students cannot access the loan facilities due to scarcity of funds, advising them to seek alternative sources of income to sponsor their education.
“You have to claim your husband’s local government, you’re from that local government and once you prove that you’re from that local government you’re qualified to benefit.
“The truth of the matter is the scheme was designed for undergraduate students, so if you are a post graduate student, you want to do a Masters or PhD programme for instance, you need to get funding elsewhere.
“Most of the Masters and PhD students are working, so if you’re not working and you decide you want to do a Masters Degree, you should know where to raise money. Before you talk of it, you should know where to raise money”.
Mr. Amaegberi said applicants whose parents are civil servants will start repayment six months after the loan has been disbursed which is a commitment attached to the bond.
Speaking further, he said:
“Those ones who have parents who are civil servants, we will start collecting from their salaries, six months after their wards have collected the funds, they will be paying on behalf of their wards.
“The parents are aware, they signed it. The terms and conditions are stated at the back of every form. So we have written to the state authorities that are in charge of those deductions and in a short while from now we will start getting deductions from those people.
“We also give opportunity to people who do not have people like that, because if we limit it to what the law says, we would be excluding many Bayelsans.
“We have bent over backwards to accommodate people who do not have such persons.
“Those who have applied and are waiting for their alerts, they should give us some time. It won’t be long again, by next week some of them will receive. It may not be all, like I said, there’s scarcity of funds, so we will treat as many as we can carry”.
He said once payments are made, it will be put online for all to see, advising students not to pay for the loan forms, saying they are to be collected for free at their office in Okaka Housing Estate, Yenagoa.