At least 1 008 out of about 52 000 beneficiaries of the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund have made arrangements to pay back the money, the institution’s acting CEO Kennedy Kandume has said.
NSFAF last month threatened to name and shame defaulters of its loan in the local print media, if they do not come forth to pay back their money.
Kandume told New Era on enquiry yesterday those who responded from the day the matter was reported in the media in October include some who only called to enquire about their outstanding amounts, and others who have made arrangements but are yet to sign debit orders.
“It is not a threat and there is no going back in its quest to publish the list to recover money owed by beneficiaries. However, I want to make it clear the aim of publishing is not to name and shame the people, it is to inform those we cannot trace to come forth and make arrangements to pay the money,” he clarified.
Kandume maintained defaulters are allowed to contact the loan entity for payment arrangement, so that they can be removed from the list before the publication.
“This is an opportunity we gave to all our beneficiaries to make payment arrangements before the publication of names. We are now busy adjusting the list, removing those who contacted us to make arrangements before we publish it.”
The fund is targeting more than N$2.6 billion that is believed to be matured loans given to beneficiaries from 1997 up to 2017– beneficiaries who are employed and did not pay anything.
Kandume said they have already written to government executive directors to arrange for beneficiaries currently in the employment of the government to repay their loans.
“We are calling upon government ministries, agencies and even private institutions to help the fund in recovering the money. We wrote to executive directors in government to start facilitating the salary deduction, because there is data indicating that most of these beneficiaries are working for the government.”
He added that the fund has checked the legality of going after defaulters’ properties, and there is a provision for that in the law. Therefore, those that failed to pay back their loans are risking their properties to be used as part of the loan repayment.