16 Oct 2017 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 16 OCT (NAMPA) The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) plans to occupy the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) headquarters on Wednesday in protest at delays in the payment of students non-tuition fees.
Nanso chairperson for the Khomas Region, Simon Amunime at a media conference here on Monday said the non-tuition fees also called refunds are important to students as it enables them to pay for things like off-campus accommodation, laptops and transport to and from the university.
The fund has failed to deliver on making these payments to the students and continue to do so, we are very frustrated and saddened by this because the final exams have commenced and the year is almost coming to an end, he stressed.
Amunime said there is no point in giving students their refunds at the end of the year because this money was supposed to be used to prepare for examinations, printing and coming to the university.
He further claimed that the current system used to disburse funds to students contributes to the delays in such payments, and thus called for it to be abolished.
According to the Khomas regional chairperson, the money is paid over from the Ministry of Finance to the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation. They then pay it to the NSFAF which pays it to Nam-mic Financial Solutions, who then disburse the funds to the students.
This chain does not benefit us. We are in a serious crisis, we have students who do not have accommodation as they cannot afford to pay for it, he said.
Amunime said the non-tuition fees should be paid in the first quarter of the year or on a monthly basis.
With regards to outstanding tuition fees, the student leader said Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation Itah Kandjii-Murangi resolved with the NSFAF to negotiate with tertiary institutions to allow all students to write their examinations and withhold their results.
In response, NSFAF Chief Executive Officer Hiliya Nghiwete in a media statement assured students that the matter is receiving due attention from the highest authorities such as the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation and the Ministry of Finance.
NSFAF has processed invoices of N.dollars 905 million for 23 230 students so far for 2017.
She said only N.dollars 501 million has actually been paid and N.dollars 404 million is yet to be paid as and when funds are made available.