BY BANKERS REPORTER
Stanbic Bank announced the immediate availability of sh 60 billion to support ongoing nationwide reopening of schools after nearly two years of inactivity.
Under Stanbic’s discounted booster finance, schools are able to borrow up to sh 500 million in collateral-free (unsecured) loans to prepare their institutions for reopening.
Stanbic’s Chief Excutive Ann Juuko said parents can also access up to sh250 million in unsecured loans processed digitally and dispersed within five minutes at zero processing fee.
She said that Stanbic has waived all 2021 unpaid accumulated interest on loans to privately owned schools.
“The bold decision by management even in the face of uncertainty, speaks to our commitment to walk the talk of our business purpose, which is that we drive Uganda’s growth, as such, we have to exercise our corporate responsibility to the country’s education sector,” Juuko said.
“The Covid19 pandemic has left us with an unprecedented challenge; our schools have been closed and teachers have been out of work for two years, many parents and guardians also had their livelihoods interrupted as a result of loss of jobs or business.
Collectively, privately owned schools and teachers, owe financial institutions over sh1.5 trillion in loans, with nearly sh 500 billion in accumulated interest alone. According to the Education Ministry, the sector requires sh 500 billion in the medium term of which
Sh150 billion is needed immediately, to support the successful reopening of learning centres, countrywide.
As Uganda’s largest lender by assets with over 30% market share, Stanbic Bank shoulders the bulk of loans to the education sector and private school proprietors have hailed the bank’s display of corporate leadership by waiving accumulated interest on loans to schools for 2021, as reassuring to the sector.
“We were worried as private school owners that we would be on our own in dealing with commercial banks; I am relieved and encouraged that the government’s engagement with commercial banks is yielding good concessions such as this one by Stanbic Bank; waiving payment of accumulated interest for 2021 is indeed a true boost for us,” said Nanfumba Mustafa, the Director, Mpigi Mixed Secondary School.
Kendrace Turyagenda, the Director of Education Standards in the Ministry of Education and Sports has lauded and welcomed Stanbic Bank’s corporate leadership and urged other players in the financial sector to play their part. She noted that the successful reopening of schools will require all stakeholders to play their part.
“Education is our collective responsibility which we cannot leave to the government alone. The Ministry of Education strongly commends the proactive gesture by Stanbic Bank for placing its corporate social responsibility above business interest, by waving accumulated interest payment on loans owed by our schools,” said Turyagenda.
Uganda’s education sector is over 28,000 schools’ strong of which 80% are privately owned. With over 500,000 teaching and non-teaching staff and over 16 million students, the sector contributes circa 5% to the country’s GDP