GN Bank, Students Loan Trust sign pact

BY: Ama Amankwah Baafi
Library photo

GN Bank and the Student Loan Trust Fund (SLTF) have signed a partnership agreement under which the bank will collect loan repayments from beneficiaries.

Per the partnership, the bank has joined banks such as the National Investment Bank (NIB), GCB Bank and Ecobank Ghana Limited to receive student loan repayment nationwide. 

The deal is such that loan beneficiaries who do not even have accounts with the bank can repay through the bank while those who are account holders can also place a standing order. 

At the launch of the partnership, the Chief Executive Officer of SLTF, Mrs Sheila Naah-Boamah, said the trends in financing tertiary education had rapidly transformed over the last two decades, such that rich and not-so-rich nations have cost- sharing arrangements in place. 

“These cost-sharing dynamics are constantly shifting more to being heavily skewed towards the government to being a shared responsibility between the government and households depending on the country’s financial capacity,” she said.   

The student loan scheme has been designed to give loans to Ghanaian tertiary students who are pursuing accredited programmes in accredited tertiary institutions. These students must have gained admission to pursue undergraduate programmes only.

Benefits of the partnership 

Mrs Naah-Boamah said the partnership would provide expanded access to pay points by loan beneficiaries, access to various media channels to aggressively sensitise and promote the subject of student loan payment among the citizenry and collaboration that promotes and supports other equally important students programme and activities. 

“Ensuring that loans are disbursed on time is as important to us as recovering the loan when it becomes due. Repaying ones loan is not because it’s a legal contract but also because it’s a moral and social responsibility with the taxpayer. After enjoying all these, clients must make their repayment to the fund seriously,” she said.  

She said the fund would continue to explore innovative ways to make its repayment comfortable and convenient for beneficiaries. 

“I am also urging employers of both private and public sectors to encourage their employees who may have benefitted from the fund to pay back,” she said.  

  According to Mrs Naah-Boamah, the fund’s support to beneficiaries when the loan becomes due could range from a low of GH₵2,986 to highest end of about GH₵18, 242 and these amounts are significant contributions made by taxpayers in Ghana to help fellow Ghanaians attain some form of higher education. 

Social responsibility

The Board Chairman of GN Bank, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, said providing such loans was an important social responsibility by the government in helping to make education possible.  

He said an important legacy the country could leave its youth was to educate and groom successors to acquire the discipline of using the loan for intended purposes and find a job to pay back. 

“It makes you a good citizen and also gives you the moral right to talk on civil right. It is important to offer our young people an easier way to pay back money given for their education. Getting a loan is normal; what is not normal is deciding not to pay,” he said. 

He said the bank, with a development objective, used its capital to go to the hinterlands where other banks did not want to go and now has 110 locations nationwide. 

“We are working to be in 300 locations nationwide by the end of the year. You don’t have to be in one location to be able to pay but you can pay anywhere in GN Bank due to network. I am encouraging students to utilise the services,” he said.