IN line with President Hage Geingob’s calls to provide relief for graduates who are struggling to pay back their government-funded study loans, the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has announced that it will start waiving interest payments on all loans from 1 July 2022.
To date, Namibian students owe the financial institution N$7.8 billion, this involves the principle as well as interest. The interest is N$2.6 billion. Thus, the amount to be waived on interest as a relief to all NSFAF Debtors is N$2.6 billion the Acting CEO, Kennedy Kandume, said.
He further noted that interest on all debts that are due and payable (present and historical) will be waived 100%.
Giving an update on the debt recovery process, the CEO stated that last year around August, the fund launched a recovery campaign where it started reaching out to all debtors.
“Since then we have interacted with 7 895 debtors who requested account statements. Around 3 107 debtors signed acknowledgement of debt totalling N$188 million during the same period. The amount recovered last year for the financial year ended 31 March 2022 is N$10.2 million. It sounds small in comparison to the total amount owed, but compared to amounts recovered in previous financial years, it is a significant increase. The average amount in other years was about N$4 million. We are hoping to triple this in this financial year of 2022 to 2023,” Kandume shared.
He further stated that the fund has put on hold possible litigation against debt defaulters to see how much can be recovered during the amnesty period.
The amnesty period will run, effectively from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023 for 12 months as directed by the President.
New interest will start afresh from 1 July 2022 and will be applied in accordance with the individual debtor’s contractual obligation. In this regard, interest will be applied to the outstanding balance from 1 July 2023.
“As a fund, we welcome the waiving of interest. I must however state that the principal amount remains due and payable. If you owe NSFAF, you get a decrease in terms of interest, but the principal amount is still due. Whoever benefited should pay back so somebody else can also benefit. This is a revolving fund, it is only through repayment that your brothers and sisters at secondary school can be funded in future,” Kandume said.
Dave Nathinge, a senior executive at the NSFAF, also shared the recent intake of new students by the fund.
Nathinge noted that the NSFAF has provided financial assistance to 17 232 eligible students for this financial year.
He further urged students to sign their contracts so the fund can issue final award letters.