NSFAF still to pay 52% of students

Windhoek-The Namibian Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has effected payment for 14,349 students (new and continuing) out of its current student population of 31,185. This gives a variance of 16,836, or about 52 percent, yet to be paid.

NSFAF is experiencing a delay regarding payment to its beneficiaries. Although invoices in this regard are processed, payment to the beneficiaries is made depending on the availability of funds. Due to low rate of repayments on existing loans, 99 percent of NSFAF funding comes from budgetary allocation from Treasury. This implies payment to the beneficiaries depends on amounts released from Treasury to NSFAF, explained NSFAF CEO Hilya Taetutila Nghiwete.

While acknowledging that about 52 percent of its beneficiaries are yet to receive their payments, NSFAF reiterated its commitment to pay its beneficiaries as and when funds are disbursed from Treasury.

Our commitment is further demonstrated by the fact that 88 percent of the allocated and availed amounts is earmarked for students' funding, in line with our mandate to provide financial assistance to eligible students, Nghiwete added.

NSFAF received 26,040 applications for funding for the 2017 academic year. A total of 13,619 of the total applicants were successfully awarded whilst 10,324 did not meet the funding requirements and were thus rejected.

Some 2,097 applications met the funding requirements, however their registration status at institutions of higher learning is yet to be confirmed.

NSFAF has thus engaged institutions to provide a new list of registrations for the award process to be finalised, with the process expected to be completed by September 29, 2017.

NSFAF together with the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation and other partners is working tirelessly to facilitate the release of the funds as soon as possible, thereby allowing students access to their academic institutions and education. Further, NSFAF has made the necessary arrangements with institutions of higher learning in this regard in order to ensure that students are not adversely affected in terms of class attendance and sitting for examinations, Nghiwete said.

The mandate of NSFAF in terms of the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund, 2000 (Act 26 of 2000) is to provide financial assistance in the form of a loan/grant to eligible students at approved institutions of higher learning and to recover money from beneficiaries upon completion of their studies.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia