• July 13th, 2020

Student loan debt skyrockets to N$2.8b


The Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) is struggling to recover its student debt, which currently stands at a whopping N$2.8 billion. 
The exorbitant student debt is a result of former NSFAF beneficiaries who over the years failed to honour their contractual obligations to repay their loans upon completion of their studies. 

NSFAF acting CEO Kennedy Kandume yesterday said although the enabling Act of the institution allows it to be a revolving fund, this has not been happening. 
“Whatever we give in the form of a loan, we are supposed to collect back so all other Namibians benefit. Over the years, we have been experiencing challenges of repayment from past beneficiaries. Some of these are doctors, accountants and whatever profession you have. They are not paying back,” Kandume said. 

Effective 14 September 
2018, the recovery function has since returned in-house, after an absolute decision to terminate the recovery contract between NSFAF and Tribesmen/NICS joint venture was reached, following a breach of clause 15.4 of the service legal agreement and failure to remedy same. In 2018, Kandume announced the termination of the outsourcing of the recovery contract. At the time, he said, the fund had paid a total of N$14.7 million in fixed management fees to Tribesmen, compared to N$6.8 million recovered by the entity from former students. 


This led to N$7.9 million in financial losses for NSFAF.  
Since 2014, the fund has been paying Tribesmen an amount of N$287 500 as a fixed management fee monthly. 
After NSFAF fully outsourced the recovery function to Tribesmen in 2015, the contract changed to give the company a 12% commission on whatever they recovered. 

The contract with Tribesmen had two elements: one for the setting up of a recovery system software development and another for debt collection, which only started in earnest around 2016, leading to the recovery of N$5.4 million. 
Kandume explained the fund has been trying to keep its records clean through a redirected recovery strategy. 
This strategy allows NSFAF to track past beneficiaries’ history including their employment status. 
“We are cleaning the database to find out who is where so they can repay their loans. Data indicates there is still N$2.8 billion that needs to be recovered. It tells us there are a lot of funds to be recovered. We are not done with the project, but we are 90% done,” he remarked.  
Kandume called on former beneficiaries to come forward and repay their loans for the sustainability of the fund, adding the contract is very clear in terms of repayments. 

 


Albertina Nakale
2020-06-09 10:13:18 | 1 months ago

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