Makerere University students have questioned the university’s move to pay their allowances through mobile money accounts rather than the bank accounts.
Government sponsored Students who reside outside the main campus receive at least 708,750 Shillings per Student every semester as a living-out allowance to cover the cost of their accommodation and meals.
Out of this, 127,500 Shillings is calculated for an individual students rent in four months, 21,250 Shillings for Water and Electricity, 84,000 Shillings for transport at unit cost of 1,000 Shillings for 84 days (excluding weekends) and 476,000 Shillings as food allowance for 119 days at a rate of 4,000 Shillings per student per day.
This money has previously been paid through the banks. But now the students have up to Tuesday, February 13, 2018, to submit their mobile money registered phone numbers, to enable the university process the allowances for the ongoing semester, a statement issued by Cyprian Kabagambe, the University Dean of Students indicates.
According to Kabagambe, the policy of payment of the students’ allowances has been changed from using bank accounts to E-wallet Mobile effective this semester.
However several students that our reporter spoke to said the program was abruptly communicated with some citing lack of registered mobile money lines.
Jackson Ssewanyana, a 2nd year Journalism and Communication student said this arrangement will make them incur more transactional costs using mobile money.
Hastings Muhumuza, a first-year student of Bachelor Science with Education said the delay in payment of his living out allowances had already impacted on him.
Mariam Nampina, another student told this publication that her Mobile Money line was in her parents’ names which could not be accepted. She says she has now to purchase another line for fresh registration before the Tuesday deadline.
Makerere University spends 1.86 billion Shillings on students living-out allowances per semester.
But the 2016 audit carried out the Abel Rwendeire Committee noted that the rate of Students’ welfare had remained constant for more than three years and recommended a review to increase of these allowances.