By: Justicia Shipena
The Namibia Financial Students Assistance Fund (NSFAF) overpaid 14 students in non-tuition fees during the past financial year.
Auditor general Junius Kandjeke revealed the latest audit report on NSFAF’s financial accounts.
“The auditors observed that there was a record of 14 students whom each was overpaid a non-tuition fee of N$ 5 000,” the report reads.
The audits say this amounted to a total of N$ 70 000.
According to Kandjeke, the payments were made to the same bank
account for the same student but different institutions during the same financial period.
The audit report also stated that auditors observed that NSFAF made a total payment of N$ 147 919 395 to local tertiary institutions using excel invoices to settle student accounts.
However, it reveals that the auditors could not ascertain the completeness and accuracy of the payments made to these tertiary institutions, adding that the student funding expenses are not supported by valid source documentation.
On the money recovery, Kandjeke said auditors observed recoveries on loans of N$ 4 328 980. According to the report, this was recorded as revenue from the bank statements. However, it stated that recording recoveries straight from the bank statements as revenue does not comply with IFRS15 – revenue recognition standard.
These figures come as NSFAF is battling its debt recovery process to recover money paid to students over the years. Last year, the state entity threatened to name and shame its 52 000 defaulters in local media. It had also vowed to go for the defaulter’s assets.
NSFAF has launched its amnesty campaign to relieve beneficiaries of paying back their loans with less interest. This amnesty period was announced by President Hage Geingob during his state of the nation address in April, and it commenced this month.
This also resulted in the fund writing off N$2.6 billion in interest on N$5.2 billion owed by the beneficiaries.
NSFAF had, over the years, employed external debt collectors who have failed to recover the lost millions.
Kandjeke added that the loan book, as per the financial statement, stood at N$ 5 322 782 193 during the period under review.
However, the auditors could not verify the nominal balance and the borrowers’ carrying amount, including loan principal and interest.
“Therefore, the loan book valuation could not be ascertained. The board could not provide auditors with proof of student loan schedule to ascertain the loan interest computation thereof,” the report states.
Kandjeke also found that NSFAF did not separate matured and
unmatured loans, adding that the financial policy of the fund states that the loans should be divided.
“The auditors observed that the fund did not separate the disclosure of student loans totalling N$ 5 322 782 193 between matured and unmatured.”
Moreover, he expressed that the accompanying financial statements do not give a true and fair view of the financial position of NSFAF during the period.
The audits also show a manual write-down of N$ 9 660 000 on mobile devices.
“This was calculated on N$ 345 for 28 000 devices. However, there was no directive; nor special resolution from the board to substantiate this write-off.”