Minister for Inner-City and Zongo Development, Sheikh Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has sought to shame critics of the NPP manifesto, particularly with regard to the government’s promise to grant student loans without the need for a guarantor.
As the nation draws near to the December elections, the NPP led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on Saturday, August 23, 2020 launched their 2020 manifesto.
NPP 2020 Manifesto
One of the key promises of the government concerned the education sector indicating that the Akufo-Addo administration’s next four-year rule will significantly cater for students by ensuring they acquire loans without requiring a guarantor.
“Over the next four years, we will . . . make sure no student who has obtained admission to a tertiary institution is denied access because they are unable to pay fees. We will provide all such students, with the exception of teacher and nurse trainees who are paid allowances, an option to obtain a student loan: without the requirement of a guarantor for the loan, provided he or she has a National Identification Number from the GhanaCard, and defer repayment of the loan after National Service plus an additional one-year grace period,” the manifesto read.
Dr. Bawumia’s Speech
The Vice President, during the occasion, said; ”It is very key to note that the link between tertiary education and economic development is very, very strong. Countries which have high tertiary enrollment rate, have much higher levels of economic development . . . One of the problems in getting access to tertiary education in Ghana is affordability…All tertiary students except teacher and nursing trainees who will be on allowances, all tertiary students will now be able to get the option to obtain a student loan without the requirement of a guarantor.
“The current scheme asks for guarantors and you know a lot of people are not willing to put their pensions on line so the students are not able to access it. So you don’t need a guarantor, all you need is your national ID card that is all.”
Expounding further on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo‘, Mustapha Hamid was optimistic the project will succeed and help resolve the financial challenges confronting students in the country.
Some critics have raised questions like how will the government track the students making sure they refund the money, particularly in the event where he or she relocates to settle abroad.
Responding to claims by critics that granting loans to the students without a guarantor is a recipe for danger resulting from repayment failures, Sheikh Mustapha Hamid told host Kwami Sefa Kayi that there is an effective tracking system to check that no person fails to repay the loan.
To him, the loan facility is well laid out and so doesn’t anticipate such complications.
“Once you have a proper identity system, with the identity system, everyone will know your address, your location and so forth. Every graduate is expected to do a national service when they complete school in Ghana before he or she can make his way abroad. So, once there is a proper identity system, we can track you wherever you go,” the Minister for Inner-City and Zongo Development said.