The 2014 Auditor General’s report has revealed that the Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF), the national institution responsible for disbursing loans to students in various tertiary institutions, spent a whooping US$178,080 as a two-year rent advance in June 2011.
The Fund operates from a rented property located at Asylum Down in Accra, and pays rent in United States’ dollars, which is payable every two years at the prevailing exchange rate.
In response to the Auditor General advice to the management of the Fund to put measures in place to acquire permanent premises, Chief Executive Officer of the Fund, Sheila Naah Boamah, told the Public Accounts Committee of parliament that the fund has made several attempts in the past to put up its own office accommodation to no avail.
Such attempts, she said, include application to University of Ghana and Lands Commission for land, an engagement of all stakeholders in the education sector including the sector ministry, National Council for Tertiary Education and Land Commission for a parcel of land to be released for the Fund to build a permanent structure.
She added that the fund is yet to receive a response to an application it made to the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing for government property that can be converted into office accommodation.
Mrs. Boamah also disclosed to the media during the 10th anniversary of the Fund earlier in the year that it is reviewing the amount of money it gives to students in the country, to make it more realistic given the rising cost of education.
Currently, students are entitled to benefit either GH¢600, GH¢630 or GH¢1,600 per annum, depending on the students’ financial needs.